Distribution patterns of organic residues on middle stone age points from Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The detailed analysis of microscopic residues on 24 lithic points from the post-Howiesons Poort Middle Stone Age layers in Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, showed distinct distribution patterns of vegetal and faunal residues. Certain vegetal residues are concentrated on the proximal and medial portions of the tools whereas the less abundant faunal residues are concentrated on the distal portions. A method was developed to equalize the portions to prevent a skewed representation of the residues on different-sized portions. Chi-square tests were used to determine that the distribution patterns were statistically unlikely to be coincidental. The distribution of residues on replicated stone-tipped spears supports the inference that lithic points were hafted and used as hunting spears during the Middle Stone Age at the site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalSouth African Archaeological Bulletin
Volume59
Issue number180
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Hafting
  • Hunting
  • Middle Stone Age points
  • Organic residues
  • Sibudu Cave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archeology (arts and humanities)
  • Archeology

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