Inskeep, R. R.. Nelson Bay Cave, Cape Province, South Africa: the Holocene levels

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Part I The Investigation

1 Introduction

2 Regional And Local Setting

2 I Geology

2 Ii Climate

2 Iii Vegetation

3 Resources

3 I Plant Resources

3 Ii Terrestrial Animals, Seals And Birds

3 Iii Water

3 Iv Seaweed

3 V Fish

3 Vi Shellfish And Crustacea

3 Vii Stone

4 Excavation

4 I Excavation Procedures

4 Ii Recording

4 Iii Stratigraphy

4 Iv Validity And Comparability Of Samples

Part Ii The Evidence Recovered

5 The Artefact Inventory

5 I Lithic Artefacts

5 I A Classification By Types

5 I B Definitions

Waste Categories

Utilized Categories

Formal Tools

5 I C Measurement Of Attributes

5 I D The Drawing Of Specimens

5 Ii Non-lithic Artefacts

6 The Lithic Artefacts

6 I The Incidence Of Various Raw Materials

6 Ii The Waste Category

6 Ii A Chips And Chunks

6 Ii B Cores

6 Ii C Untrimmed Flakes

6 Iii The Utilized Artefact Category

6 Iii A Utilized Flakes

Edge Damaged (appendix 14)

Steep Damage (appendix 14; Table 19)

Notched Pieces

6 Iii B Heavy Edge-flaked Pieces (figures 25, 26)

6 Iii C Pieces Esquillees: Flake And Cortical

6 Iii D Palettes

6 Iii E Grinding Equipment: Grindstones, Rubbers, And Combination Rubber/hammer

6 Iii F Hammerstones Including Rubber/hammerstones (appendix 20)

6 Iv The Formal Tools Category

6 Iv A Scrapers

6 Iv B Backed Tools

Flakes And Bladelets

Segments (appendix 24)

Backed Scrapers

Broken Backed Pieces

Tanged Points

6 Iv C Drills (appendix 25)

6 Iv D Reamers

6 Iv E Bored Stones

6 Iv F Miscellaneous Retouched Pieces (appendix 27)

6 Iv G Adzes

6 Iv H Sinkers

6 Iv J Grooved Stones

6 Iv K Ochre (appendix 30)

6 Iv L Miscellaneous Stone

7 The Non-lithic Artefacts

7 I Pottery

7 Ii Awls

7 Iii Bone Spatulas

7 Iv Bone Arrowheads, Linkshafts And Hollow Bone Points

7 V Bone Tubes

7 Vi Engraved Bone

7 Vii Bone Rings

7 Viii Tortoise Shell

7 Ix Miscellaneous Bone And Ivory

7 X Ostrich Eggshell: Beads, Bottles And Unused Fragments

7 Xi Shell Pendants

7 Xii Perforated Donax Serra Shells

7 Xiii Metal Objects

8 Burials

8 I Cultural Aspects Of The Burials

Burial 1. (figure 58; Plate 22)

Burial 2. (figure 59)

Burial 3. (figure 60; Plate 22)

Burial 4. (figure 61; Plate 23)

Burial 5. (figure 62)

Burial 6.

8 Ii Biological Aspects Of The Burials

8 Ii A Description Of The Skeletons

Nbc Burial 1 (ap 5044) (plate 24)

Nbc Burial 2 (uct 345) (plates 25, 26)

Nbc Burial 3 (uct 346) (plate 27)

Nbc Burial 4 (uct 347) (plate 28)

Nbc Burial 5 (uct 348) (plate 30)

Nbc Burial 6 (uct 349) (plate 31)

8 Ii B Morphological Identification Of The Nelson Bay Cave Skeletons

8 Ii C Dental Health And Lifestyle

8 Ii D Non-dietary Tooth Wear

8 Ii E The Strange Case Of Burial 5

8 Ii F Conclusion

9 Plant Remains

10 Shellfish

11 Fish

11 I Introduction

11 Ii Time-linked Variations In Absolute Numbers

11 Iii The Question Of Cold Water Upwelling

11 Iv The Habitats Exploited

11 V Methods Of Procurement

11 Vi Further Remarks On Diachronic Changes

11 Vii Seasonality

11 Viii The Processing Of Fish

12 Mammals

12 I Introduction

12 Ii Non-marine Mammals: Environment And General Observations

12 Iii Seals

12 Iv The Holocene Levels: A Search For Trends

12 V Sheep

13 Radiocarbon Dating

13 I Introduction

13 Ii List Of Dates

14 Bird Remains

14 I Introduction

14 Ii Seasonality

14 Iii Summary

14 Iv Acknowledgments

Part Iii Discussion And Conclusions

15 Discussion And Conclusions

15 I Summary Of Observations

15 I A The Accumulated Sediments

15 I B The Artefacts

15 I C Faunal Remains

15 I D The Sequence Of Change In Material Culture

15 Ii Discussion Of Selected Evidence

15 Ii A Scrapers And Segments

15 Ii B Seasonality

15 Ii C Raw Materials

15 Iii Establishing A Model

15 Iv Comments And Some Alternatives

Model 1

Model 2

Model 3

Model 4

15 V Testing The Conclusions

16 Acknowledgements

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Appendix 1. List Of Forest Flora For The Immediate Vicinity Of Robberg And In Nearby Forests, Such As Harkerville Forest Some 10 Km To The West Of Robberg, Kindly Supplied By C. J. Geldenhuys Of The Saasveld Forest Research Station. Abreviations: Habit; Tree (t), Shrub (s), Fern (f), Climber (c), Bulbous (b), Herbaceous (h): Place; Robberg (r), Harkerville (h), Knysna Division (kn): Uses, Edible Fruit (ef), Edible Bulb/corm (eb), Edible Vegetative Part (ev), Edible Seed (es), Medicinal (med): Authorities; Saasveld (sa), Watt And Breyer-brandwijk 1962 (w), Palgrave 1977 (p), Palmer And Pitman 1972 (pp), Story 1958 (s).

Appendix 2. Food Plants Not Included In Appendix 1 But Listed In Fourcade 1941 For The Knysna Division (kn) Or By Courtenay-latimer El Al 1967 For The Tsitsikama Forest And Coastal National Park (ts). Abbreviations: Uses; (ef) Edible Fruits, (eb) Edible Bulb, (ec) Edible Corm, (ev) Edible Vegetative Part: Sources; (pp) Palmer And Pitman 1972, (p) Palgrave 1977, (w) Watt And Breyer-brandwijk 1962, (c-l) Courtenay-latimer Et Al 1967, (pa) Parkington 1977, (s) Story 1958, (a) Ashton 1939. (taxonomy Uncorrected From Sources Given).

Appendix 3. Status Of 22 Species Of Ungulates In The Divisions Of Humansdorp And Uniondale, Immediately East And North (respectively) Of The Division Of Knysna In Which Plettenberg Bay And Robberg Lie. The Percentages Represent The Number Of Returns Recording The Species As Present, Expressed As A Percentage Of The Total Number Of Questionnaires Returned For The Division. For Details See Bigalke And Bateman 1962.

Appendix 4. List Of Animals Which Might Have Occurred Within The Catchment Area Of Nbc. The Keurbooms River Nature Reserve Is Some 10 Km East Of Plettenberg Bay And Includes Indigenous Forest Along The River Banks, Fynbos (macchia) On The Plateau And A Small Area Of Dune Vegetation At The Mouth Of The River. Suggestions Under ‘probable Former Status’ Are Based On Contemporary And Historical Observations, Including Bigalke And Bateman 1962. The Absence Of Names From The List Does Not Necessarily Mean That A Species Is Unlikely To Have Occurred In The Vicinity, But Simply That There Is No Evidence On Which To Include It. P = Present, C = Common, A = Abundant, N = Nearby, ? = Conceivable Present.

Appendix 5. Some Of The Larger Birds Listed In Stuart, Palmer And Munnik (1978) Which Are Likely To Have Occurred In The Vicinity Of Robberg.

Appendix 6. Principal Species Of Molluscs And Crustacea Of The Intertidal Zone On The Tsitsikama Coast, Based On Tietz And Robinson 1974.

Appendix 7. Data Relating To Sample Sizes. The Areas Given For Units 2–21, 60, 88, And 101 Are Approximations Based On Section Records. Despite This They Are Certainly Of The Right Order Of Size.

Appendix 8. Percentage Frequencies For The Various Raw Material Types Used For Stone Artefacts. Within The Category Of Total Stone Artefacts, Units 30, 64, 66, And 115 Contain 0.2% Sandstone, 0.5% Unidentified, 0.3% Sandstone, And 0.3% Ferricrete Respectively. Three Of These Represent Formal Tools And Account For The Following Percentages Not Included In The Right Hand Side Of The Table: Unit 30, A Bored Stone In Sandstone, 4.3%; Unit 66, A Sinker In Sandstone, 9.0%; Unit 115, A Sinker In Ferricrete, 11.1%. Qt = Quartzite; Q = Quartz; Ch = Chalcedony; Si = Silcrete; Sh = Shale.

Appendix 9. Chips And Chunks: Frequency By Raw Material Types, With Untrimmed Flake Frequencies, And Chips And Chunks Expressed As A Percentage Of Untrimmed Flakes. Frequencies Only Are Given For Shale As Normal Flakes Do Not Occur In This Material. Q = Quartz, Qt = Quartzite, Ch = Chalcedony, Sh = Shale.

Appendix 10. Incidence Of Cores By Type And Raw Material.

Appendix 11. Incidence Of Cores And Untrimmed Flakes, And Ratio Of Flakes Per Core. Seven Silcrete Flakes Are Included With Those In Chalcedony; One Each In Units 6, 61, 76, 77, And 83, And Two In Unit 122.

Appendix 12. Data For Untrimmed Flakes Class. Units 6, 61, 76, 77, And 83, Include One Flake Each Of Silcrete In The Chalcedony Scores, And Unit 122 Includes Two Of Silcrete. Omitted From The Raw Material Sub-totals Are Two Flakes Of ‘other’ Raw Material; One Each In Units 78 And 105.

Appendix 13. Incidence Of Total Utilized Category, And Their Percentages In Relation To Total Stone Aretefacts. The Subclasses Included Are Hammerstones, Rubbers, Hammer/rubbers, Grindstones, Palettes, Pieces Esquillees, Heavy Edge-flaked, And Utilized Flakes (edge, Steep, Notched).

Appendix 14. Data On Utilized Flakes Class. Under ‘raw Material’ Q = Quartz, Qt = Quartzite, Ch = Chalcedony, And Si = Silcrete; Under ‘pre-form’ Ch = Chip Or Chunk, Fl = Flake; Under ‘notch Condition’ C = Clear, S = Scarred. Nr = Not Recorded.

Appendix 15. Data For Heavy Edge-flaked Pieces. Under Raw Material Qt = Quartzite, Q = Quartz; Under Pre-form F = Flake, Ch = Chunk, T = Tablet, R = Ridged, P = Pyramidal, And C = Cobble. Nr = Not Recorded. Other Attributes Are Length, Width, Width Of Retouch, Height, And Weight.

Appendix 16. Data Relating To Pieces Esquillees (flake). Nr = Not Recorded; Usually Because The Specimen Was Incomplete. Where Opposed Damage Is Indicated For A Specimen With Only One Edge Recorded This Indicates Evidence Of Abrasion Not Positive Enough To Resemble An Esquillee Edge. Length Is The Maximum Dimension Of The Piece In The General Plane Of The Working Edge Or Edges. Height Is Measured As The Distance Between Two Planes Which Enclose The Specimen: In Practice The Surface On Which The Specimen Would Most Naturally Rest Was Taken As One Of The Planes And The Height Was The Maximum Height Of The Specimen Above This Plane. Width Of Retouch Is Measured As The Shortest Distance Between The Two Ends Of A Working Edge. Raw Material: Qt = Quartzite; Q = Quartz; Ch = Chalcedony; Ofg = Other Fine Grained Rock. Pre-form: F = Flake; Ch = Chip Or Chunk; C = Core; ? = Pre-form Uncertain. As Discussed In The Text (6 Iii C Above) The Small Specimens In Quartz And Chalcedony Are Seen As Bipolar Cores Rather Than True Pieces Esquillees.

Appendix 17. Data Relating To Pieces Esquillees (cortical). Procedures And Abbreviations Are As Given For Pieces Esquillees In Appendix 16. Specimens Listed As ‘talus’ Are Unstratified And Unprovenanced. They Were Recovered In Cleaning Down The Talus Slope During The Third Season Of Excavation. All Pre-forms Are Flake; All Specimens Of Quartzite.

Appendix 18. Incidence Of Whole And Fragmentary Grindstones.

Appendix 19. Incidence Of Rubbers And Rubber/hammerstones.

Appendix 20. Incidence Of Hammerstones And Rubber/hammerstones.

Appendix 21. Data Relating To Scrapers. In The Raw Material Column Q = Quartz, Qt = Quartzite, Si = Silcrete, Ch = Chalcedony And Ofg = Other Fine Grained Material. In The Pre-form Column Fl = Flake, Ch = Chip Or Chunk, And P = Pebble. Nr = Not Recorded. Specimens With Two Or More Working Edges Are Given Multiple Entries (as If Two Or Three Separate Specimens).

Appendix 22. Quartzite Scrapers. Metrical Data From Appendix 21 Grouped To Enlarge Samples.

Appendix 23. Quartz And Chalcedony Scrapers. Metrical Data From Appendix 21 Grouped To Enlarge Samples.

Appendix 24. Data For Segments.

Appendix 25. Data For Drills. Length Is The Maximum Length Of The Piece, From The Working Tip. Width Is The Maximum Dimension Of The Piece At Right Angles To The Length Axis.

Appendix 26. Details Of Reamers.

Appendix 27. Data Relating To Miscellaneous Retouched Pieces. The Percentages Are For The Class As Part Of The Formal Tools Category. Qt = Quartzite, Q = Quartz, Ch = Chalcedony. The Specimen In Unit 66 Is Of Silcrete.

Appendix 28. Incidence And Weights Of The Sinkers. The Figures In The ‘fraction’ Column Are An Estimate Of The Surviving Fraction Of Incomplete Specimens. In Such Cases The Weights Are Extrapolations From The Weight Of The Surviving Fractions.

Appendix 29. Sinkers As A Percentage Of Formal Tools. Mean Percentage Frequencies Are Calculated On The Basis Of The 34 Units Containing Sinkers, And On The 75 Units (76–22) Representing The Time-span Of The Type.

Appendix 30. Incidence Of Evidence Relating To The Use Of Red Ochre.

Appendix 31. Details Of The Various Bone Awl Types. The Dimensions Given In Millimeters Refer To The Surviving Length Of The Piece, Whether Whole Or Incomplete.

Appendix 32. Data Relating To Bone Spatulas. Under ‘edge Plan’ S = Square, R = Round, S/r = Intermediate Between Square And Round. Ds14 Is A Specimen, From The Albany Levels, Recovered During The Cutting Of The First Season Deep Sounding. The Two Specimens Indicated As Unst. Are Unstratified Specimens Almost Certainly Derived From The Upper Units, 22–62. The Other Entries Are Derived From J. Deacon 1978, Figs. 10 And 11. Bsc Is Wilton And The Remainder Albany. Measurements Are Approximations Derived From Deacon's Drawings.

Appendix 33. Bone Arrowheads, Linkshafts And Hollow Bone Points. Dimensions Refer To Surviving Length And Maximum Diameter Respectively.

Appendix 34. Bone Tubes. The Measurements Refer To Surviving Length, And Maximum Diameter, Respectively.

Appendix 35. Details Of Bone Rings. The Measurements In Each Case Are External Diameter, Internal Diameter, And Thickness (at Right Angles To The Plane Of The Ring), Respectively.

Appendix 36. Details Of Tortoise Shell Showing Evidence Of Utilization. Each Entry Commences With Unit Number And Square.

Appendix 37. Occurrences Of Tortoise Shell Fragments Showing No Signs Of Utilisation. Each Entry Commences With Unit Number And Square.

Appendix 38. Incidence Of Ostrich Eggshell Beads (by Numbers), And Ostrich Eggshell Fragments (by Weight).

Appendix 39. Incidence Of The Various Pendant Types.

Appendix 40. Incidence Of Perforated Donax Serra Values.

Appendix 41. Cranial Measurements For Burials 1 To 5. All Measurements Are In Mm; Mir = Mirror Image; Est = Estimated.

Appendix 42. Mandibular Measurements For Burials 1 To 5. All Measurements Are In Mm; Est = Estimated.

Appendix 43. Long Bone Lengths (in Mm) For Burials 1, 2, 3, 4, And 6.

Appendix 44. Nbc 2 Discriminant Analysis (females Only)

Appendix 45. Nbc 4 Discriminant Analysis (males Only)

Appendix 46. Identification And Location Of Plant Remains Recovered During The 1979 Field Season. Identifications Are By H. J. Deacon (seeds And Corms) And Anton Scholtz (charcoals), Both Of The Department Of Archaeology, University Of Stellenbosch.

Appendix 47. Percentage Frequencies And Group Totals For Genera And Species Of Molluscs. The Absence Of Figures Other Than For Patella In Unit 44 Results From The Inadvertant Discarding Of The Non- Patella Shells Before Counting.

Appendix 48. Incidence Of Fish Species At Nelson Bay Cave. Due To Errors Or Uncertainties In Packaging, Units 26, 30, 21 And 33 Are Missing, And Units 35 And 36, 40 And 41, 45 And 46, 50 And 51 Have Been Combined As Pairs.

Appendix 49. Notes On Fish Species Represented In The Deposits, Plus Some Notable Absentees. The Figure Appearing In Brackets With The Common Name Is The Serial Number For The Species (j. L. B. Smith 1953), Useful Because It Remains Constant Despite Revisions In Taxonomy Or Common Names.

Appendix 50. Species Lists For Mammals (nisp And Mni) For Various Groupings Of Units.

Appendix 51. Preliminary List Of Seabird Species And Mni From Selected Excavated Units. Dates Are Years Bp. Numbers In Brackets Represent The Number Of Juveniles/nestlings In The Total. * = At Least One Nestling Present; ** = Medullary Bone Present.

Appendix 52. Register Of People Who Assisted In The Excavation, In Various Capacities.


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Cross References

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Nelson Bay Cave, Cape Province, South Africa: the Holocene levels

Published By: Original publisher Oxford, England : B.A.R., 1987: B.A.R.. 1987. 2 v. (xvii, 485 p., 31 p. of plates) ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication R.R. Inskeep ; with contributions by G. Avery …[et al.]

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2004. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Wilton (FX50)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Fauna (136); Sociocultural trends (178); Ornament (301); Bone, horn, and shell technology (321); Lithic industries (324); General tools (412); Burial practices and funerals (764); Cultural stratigraphy (912);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document Inskeep's 'report sets out the combined results of the four seasons of excavation in Nelson Bay Cave (NBC) … The site is a large cave on the south side of the Robberg peninsula …[Although] NBC was clearly considerable disturbed, the … site was chosen for investigation …' (page 1). The site has strata that date from the Middle Stone Age to the present. This report only discusses the remains dating from the middle to later Holocene. There is evidence that the cave was used year-round, but Inskeep also feels the cave might have been used by two groups of people - one from the interior who may have visited in the summer, and one group that lived year-round on the coast. The remains from the cave include stone and bone tools, shellfish, faunal remains, beads, some floral remains, containers of ostrich and turtle, pottery and metal objects (not indexed), and burials.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 3

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. fx50-003

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Collection

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 472-485)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1964-1966, 1970-1971, 1979

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Archaeologist-4, 5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Sarah Berry ; 2002

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). circa 6000 BP-circa 2000 BP

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Nelson Bay Cave; Cape Province, South Africa

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings South Africa--Antiquities


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