31/10/2017 - 10:05



Age and Middle Stone Age research. Coastal environments, located at the interface of two major ecosystems, namely marine and terrestrial, provide unique advantages for the investigation of past human behaviours. Blombos Cave, situated adjacent to the Blomboschfontein Nature Reserve, was declared a Provincial Heritage Site and is nominated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

Eighteen Later Stone Age, open air, archaeological sites are situated within the boundaries of Blomboschfontein Nature Reserve. Seven of the sites are open station shell middens, six are elevated at above 90m above sea level and located on a coastal foreland. One is directly adjacent to the coast and all the open sites predate 3000 BP; four sites are in shelters located in the coastal cliffs to the south of Blombos Cave and postdate 2000 BP. The range of the site types, their generally high standard of preservation, their in-situ deposits and diversity in midden content highlights the importance of these sites and they have provided a unique opportunity to study various aspects of human behaviour on this section of the coast during the period from around 7000 BP up until 290 BP. Cultural artefacts, in particular stone tools, provided vital clues in tracing cultural change and allowed comparisons to be made with excavated sequences from other sites in the southern Cape and further afield.



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