Scientific article
Open access

Bushman Rock Shelter (Limpopo, South Africa): a perspective from the edge of the highveld

Published inSouth African Archaeological Bulletin, vol. 70, no. 202, p. 166-179
Publication date2015

In this paper, we introduce a recently initiated research project conducted at Bushman Rock Shelter, on the northeastern edge of the Highveld plateau in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Previous excavations carried out at the site during the 1960s and 1970s exposed a deep and well-stratified sequence of c. 7 metres of archaeological deposits associated with Later and Middle Stone Age occupations (LSA and MSA). Owing to the lack of contextual information, Bushman Rock Shelter remains poorly studied despite recording cultural and palaeoenvironmental data that are key for the understanding of the South African Stone Age. Here, we propose a synthesis of the 1967–1976 excavations led by Hannes Eloff and provide general background information that will serve as a reference for future research. Our synthesis is based on previous publications by Ina Plug, as well as on Eloff 's field diaries, which were thought to be lost. We complement these observations with data from our own 2014 field season, and pay tribute to the work previously done at the site. Finally, we discuss some aspects of the LSA/MSA contact at the site and comment on the presence of a bifacial lithic component in the upper MSA layers, which is reminiscent of the later Pietersburg.

  • Middle Stone Age
  • Pietersburg technocomplex
  • Bifacial technology
  • Later Stone Age
  • Burial
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
PORRAZ, Guillaume et al. Bushman Rock Shelter (Limpopo, South Africa): a perspective from the edge of the highveld. In: South African Archaeological Bulletin, 2015, vol. 70, n° 202, p. 166–179.
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Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:105881
ISSN of the journal0038-1969

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