Was there a shift from Levallois to Still Bay point knapping at Hollow Rock Shelter, South Africa?

Anders Högberg, Marlize Lombard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


With this contribution we revisit the lithic point assemblage from Hollow Rock Shelter, South Africa. Our objective is to test whether, in addition to its finely retouched Still Bay points, an earlier Levallois-type Mossel Bay point-making tradition may also be represented at the site and, if so, how the two traditions relate to each other. We conducted a fine-grained temporal attribute study that includes point-production strategies, material use and morphometric analyses. We show that, contrary to previous interpretation, Mossel Bay-type points are represented at Hollow Rock Shelter before about 80,000 years ago. Subsequently, the knappers started to make Still Bay points during the later phase, but Levallois-type Mossel Bay points continued to be used throughout the sequence. Variation between the phases lay in the frequencies of point types and material use through time, as well as in subtle changes in morphometric attributes. As a result, we suggest that Levallois point production was part of the inventory of the Still Bay at Hollow Rock Shelter, but has not previously been reported as such. This study adds to an increasing body of work that demonstrates that Still Bay point production in southern Africa was not the abrupt technological phenomenon previously claimed, but our outcomes nevertheless require further testing at sites with better stratigraphic context than that available at Hollow Rock Shelter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-36
Number of pages32
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Hollow Rock Shelter
  • Levallois-type points
  • Middle Stone Age
  • Mossel Bay techno-complex
  • South Africa
  • Still Bay points
  • lithic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archeology (arts and humanities)
  • Archeology


Dive into the research topics of 'Was there a shift from Levallois to Still Bay point knapping at Hollow Rock Shelter, South Africa?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this