You are welcome to join us for a Storeroom Talk at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg at 10.30 am on Wednesday 12 April 2023. The address is 237 Jabu Ndlovu Street, Pietermaritzburg.
SOUTH AFRICAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
The Upper Pleistocene sequence of Umhlatuzana rockshelter (South Africa) unveiling technological changes and regional cultural developments
Dr Viola Schmid
Austrian Archaeological Institute
Umhlatuzana rockshelter near Mariannhill in KwaZulu-Natal has a deep archaeological deposit laid down during the past 100,000 years. Archaeologist Jonathan Kaplan excavated the site in 1985 following fears that it would be destroyed during the construction of the N3 toll road. At the time, some archaeologists expressed concern about the integrity – and therefore the value – of the deposits, but new excavations in 2018–2019 by the University of Leiden showed that there had been no large-scale movement of the archaeological sediments.
I present visual images of the stone artefacts from the recent excavation and actual artefacts from Jonathan Kaplan’s excavation. I focus especially on the period from 40,000 to 20,000 years ago. Umhlatuzana is one of the few sites in KwaZulu-Natal that preserves a record of this period and where we can see the character of the stone tool tradition shifting towards a miniaturisation in technology. The Umhlatuzana sequence allows us to explore various facets of this technological change, as well as its causes.
Please contact Ghilraen Laue (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to attend. Seating in the storeroom is limited.