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Some Recent Radiocarbon Dates from Eastern and Southern Africa

  • Tim Maggs

This Article follows in the series started by Fagan and continued for eastern and southern Africa by Phillipson, Sutton and Soper. The scope remains much the same, covering in time the later part of the Stone Age sequence as well as the Iron Age. Geographically, however, there are some changes: the Sudan has been excluded as it was covered by the recent review of North and West African dates, while a detailed chronological review of francophone Central Africa is in progress and therefore this region has been excluded.

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1 Posnansky, M. and McIntosh, R., ‘New Radiocarbon dates for northern and western AfricaJ. Afr. Hist., xvii, 2 (1976), 161–95.

2 de Maret, P., Cahen, D. and van Noten, F., ‘Radiocarbon dates from central Africa: a synthesisJ. Afr. Hist., forthcoming.

3 Clark, R. M., ‘A calibration curve for radiocarbon datesAntiquity, xlix (1975), 251–66.

5 Antiquity, xlvi (1972), 265.

6 This is mentioned in Soper, R. C., ‘New radiocarbon dates for eastern and southern AfricaJ. Afr. Hist., xv, 2 (1974), 175–92. For a useful review of chronological developments see Clark, J. D., ‘Africa in prehistory: peripheral or paramount?Man, x, 2 (1975), 175–98.

7 An important review of both the cultural and environmental succession is Klein, R. G., ‘Environment and subsistence of prehistoric man in the southern Cape Province, South AfricaWorld Archaeol., v, 3 (1974), 240–84. See also Fairhall, A. W., Young, A. W. and Erickson, J. L., ‘University of Washington dates iv’, Radiocarbon, xviii, 2 (1976), 221–39.

8 Carter, P. L. and Vogel, J. C., ‘The dating of industrial assemblages from stratified sites in eastern LesothoMan, ix, 4 (1974), 557–70.

9 Wendt, W. E., ‘Preliminary report on an archaeological research program in South West AfricaCimbebasia (B), ii (1972), 161. Wendt, W. E., ‘“Art Mobilier” from the Apollo 11 Cave, South West Africa: Africa's oldest dated works of art’, S. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxxi, 121 and 122 (1976), 511.

10 See note 7.

11 Wendorf, F. et al. , ‘Dates for the Middle Stone Age of East AfricaScience, clxxxvii (1975). 740–2.

12 Klein, ‘Environment’ 257; Carter, and Vogel, , ‘Dating’ 570; Wendt, , ‘Art Mobilier’ 7.

13 Soper, , ‘Dates’ 178.

14 Wendt, W. E., ‘“Art Mobilier” aus der Apollo 11—Grotte in Südwest-Afrika: Die ältesten datierten Kunstwerke AfrikasActa Praehist. Arch., v (1974), 142. A summary in English is Wendt, , ‘Art Mobilier’ see note 9. The relevant dates are Pta–1040, KN–1–813, KN–2056.

15 Klein, , ‘Environment’.

16 Nelson Bay, Kangkara and Melkhoutboom, op. cit., 272. The relevant dates are GrN–5880, 1–6516, UW–175, UW–233.

17 Carter, and Vogel, , ‘Dating’ 569.

18 Klein, , ‘Environment’; Fairhall, et al. , ‘Dates’. The relevant dates are from Boomplaas UW–301, Byeneskranskop UW–287, 1–7948, Elands Bay Pta–686, 732, 737, UW–192, 193, Melkhoutboom GaK–1538, Pta–666, Nelson Bay Pta–391, 392, Q–1085, UW–162, 164, 177, 178, 1–2615, 6515, UW–218 (the latter two are attributed to the Robberg Industry in Klein, , ‘Environment’ but more recently to the Albany in Fairhall et al., ‘Dates’).

19 An important review is Deacon, J., ‘Patterning in the Radiocarbon dates for the Wilton/Smithfield complex in southern Africa’, S. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxix (1974), 318.

20 Wendt, , ‘Art Mobilier’ 7. Dates are Pta–1010, Pta–1021, KN–1–612, KN–1–613, KN–I–614, KN–1–811.

21 Mason, R. J., ‘Later Stone Age plant remains from Kruger Cave, Olifantsnek, Rustenburg districtS. Afr. J. Sc., lxx (1974), 376.

22 Cooke, C. K., Summers, R. and Robinson, K. R., ‘Rhodesian prehistory re-examined, Part 1: the Stone AgeArnoldia, ii, 12 (1966), 18. The relationship between these assemblages is recognized by Sampson in his ‘Oakhurst Complex'—Sampson, C. G., The Stone Age archaeology of southern Africa (New York, 1974).

23 Klein, , ‘Environment'; Fairhall, et al. , ‘Dates'.

24 Fairhall, et al. , ‘Dates’ 222–3.

25 Ibid., 225.

26 Wendt, , ‘Art Mobilier’ 6.

27 Sandelowsky, B. H., ‘Archaeological investigations at Mirabib Hill Rock ShelterS. Afr. archaeol. Soc, Goodwin Ser. ii (1974), 6572.

28 For discussion and references see Clark, , ‘Africa in prehistory’ 191. Also Gramly, R. M., ‘Upper Pleistocene archaeological occurrences at site GvJM/22, Lukenya Hill, KenyaMan, in press.

29 Sheppard, J. G. and Swart, E. R., ‘Rhodesian radiocarbon measurements V’, Radiocarbon, xv, 3 (1973), 545–53.

30 Soper, , ‘Dates’.

31 Gramly, , ‘Upper Pleistocene’.

32 Deacon, H. J., ‘A review of the post-Pleistocene in South AfricaS. Afr. archaeol. Soc, Goodwin Ser. i (1972), 2645. Klein, , ‘Environment’.

33 Fairhall, et al. , ‘Dates’ 224.

34 , J. and Rudner, I., ‘A note on early excavations at RobbergS. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxviii (1973). 94–6.

35 de Villiers, H., ‘Human skeletal remains from Cape St Francis, Cape Province’; Thackeray, F. and Feast, E. C., ‘A midden burial from Cape St. Francis, eastern Cape ProvinceS. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxix (1974), 8992.

36 Fairhall, et al. , ‘Dates’ 226; Deacon, H. J. and Brooker, M., ‘The Holocene and Upper Pleistocene sequence in the southern CapeAnn. S. Afr. Mus., lxxi (1976), 203–14.

37 Deacon, J., ‘Patterning’.

38 Haynes, V. and Haas, H., ‘Southern Methodist University Radiocarbon Date List IRadiocarbon, xvi, 3 (1974), 368–80.

39 Phillipson's report is forthcoming in Azania, xii. For other stone bowl dates see Merrick, H. V., ‘Aspects of the size and shape variation of the East African stone bowlsAzania, viii (1973), 115–30.

40 GX–3910. 3911. 3912, 3915 and 3916 are associated with pottery, GX–3913, 3914 are not. GX–3913 is anomalous in view of the sequence.

41 Soper, , ‘Dates’; Sutton, J. E. G., ‘New radiocarbon dates for Eastern and Southern AfricaJ. Afr. Hist., xiii, 1 (1972), 124.

42 Rudner, J., ‘Radiocarbon dates from the Brandberg in South West AfricaS. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxvii (1973), 164–5; Jacobson, L. and Vogel, J. C., ‘Recent radiocarbon dates from the BrandbergS. Afr. J. Sc., lxxi (1975), 349.

44 , M. J. and Carr, A. C., Jacobson, L. and Vogel, J. C., ‘Radiocarbon dates from the Zerrissene Mountain open station settlement complexS. Afr. J. Sci., lxxii (1976), 251–2.

45 Sydow, W., ‘Contributions to the history and protohistory of the Topnaar strandloper settlement at the Kuiseb River mouth near Walvis BayS. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxviii (1973) 73–7; Jacobson, L. and Vogel, J. C., ‘Radiocarbon dates for a shell midden complex from Wortel, Walvis BayMadoqua, in press.

46 Wendt, , ‘Preliminary report’ and ‘Art Mobilier’.

47 Parkington, J. and Poggenpoel, C., ‘Excavations at De Hangen, 1968S. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxvi (1971), 336; Soper, , ‘Dates’.

48 Avery, G., ‘Discussion on the age and use of tidal fish-traps (visvywers)S. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxx (1975), 105–13.

49 Fairhall, et al. , ‘Dates’; Soper, , ‘Dates’.

50 Schweitzer, F. R., ‘Archaeological evidence for sheep at the CapeS. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxix (1974), 7582; Tankard, A. J. and Schweitzer, F. R., ‘The geology of Die Kelders Cave and environs: a palaeoenvironmental studyS. Afr. J. Sci., lxx, 12 (1974), 365–9.

51 Avery, G., ‘Open station shell midden sites and associated features from the Pearly Beach area, south-western CapeS. Afr. archaeol, Bull., xxix (1974), 104–14.

52 Fairhall, et al. , ‘Dates’; Deacon, H. J. and Brooker, M., ‘The Holocene and Upper Pleistocene sequence in the southern CapeAnn. S. Afr. Mus., lxxi (1976), 203–14.

53 Carter, and Vogel, , ‘Dating’.

54 Soper, , ‘Dates’; Davies, O., ‘Excavations at Shongweni south cave: the oldest evidence to date for cultigens in southern AfricaAnn. Natal Mus., xxii, 2 (1975), 627–62.

55 Derricourt, R. M., ‘Radiocarbon chronology of the Late Stone Age and Iron Age in South AfricaS. Afr. J. Sci., lxix (1973), 280–4; Sutton, , ‘Dates’.

56 Mason, R. J., ‘The last Stone Age San (Bushman) of the Vaal-Limpopo BasinS. Afr. J. Sci., lxx (1974), 375.

57 Humphreys, A. J. B., ‘A preliminary report on test excavations at Dikbosch Shelter I, Herbert district, northern CapeS. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxix (1974), 115–9; ‘Burchell's Shelter: the history and archaeology of a northern Cape rock shelter’ S. Afr. archaeol. Bull, xxx (1975), 318.

58 Humphreys, A. J. B., ‘A report on excavations carried out on a Type R settlement unit (Khartoum I) in the Jacobsdal district, O.F.S.Ann. Cape Prov. Mus., ix, 8 (1973), 2357; Maggs, T. M. O'C., Iron Age communities of the southern Highveld (Pietermaritzburg, 1976).

59 Humphreys, A. J. B., ‘Note on a date for a burial from the Riet RiverS. Afr. J. Sci., lxx (1974). 271.

60 Chittick, H. N., ‘Excavations at Aksum: a preliminary reportAzania, ix (1974), 159205.

61 Soper, , ‘Dates’; Robinson, K. R. ‘The Iron Age of the upper and lower Shire, Malawi’ Department of Antiquities, Publication No. 13 (Zomba, 1973).

62 N–1607; N–1440 is from a similar context but the sample appears to be contaminated. Compare with N–1284, Soper, , ‘Dates’. For Bisson's work at Kansanshi see, for example, ‘Prehistoric copper mining in north-western Zambia’ Archaeology, xxvii (1974), iv, 242–7.

63 Clark, J. D. and Fagan, B. M., ‘Charcoals, sands and channel-decorated pottery from Northern RhodesiaAmer. Anth., lxvii (1965), 354–71.

64 Fagan, B. M., ‘Radiocarbon dates for sub-Saharah Africa: VIJ. Afr. Hist., x, 1 (1969), 149–69; Phillipson, D. W., ‘Archaeology and Bantu linguisticsWorld Archaeol., viii, 1 (1976), 6582

65 Prinsloo, H. P., ‘Early Iron Age site at Klein Afrika near Wylliespoort, Soutpansberg Mountains, South AfricaS. Afr. J. Sci., lxx (1974), 271–3.

66 Klapwijk, M., ‘A preliminary report on pottery from the north-eastern Transvaal, South Africa’, S. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxix (1974), 1923.

67 Evers, T. M., ‘Recent Iron Age research in the Eastern Transvaal, South AfricaS. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxx (1975), 7183, and pers. comm.

68 Sutton, , ‘Dates’.

69 Soper, , ‘Dates’; Inskeep, R. R. and Maggs, T. M. O'C., ‘Unique art objects in the Iron Age of the Transvaal, South AfricaS. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxx (1975), 114–38.

70 Mason, R. J., ‘Background to the Transvaal Iron Age—new discoveries at Olifant-spoort and BroederstroomJ. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Met., lxxiv (1974), 211–16; van Genderen, A. M., ‘Personal ornament in the Early Iron Age of the Transvaal: new discoveries at site 84/73, Broederstroom, Transvaal, South AfricaS. Afr.J. Sci., lxx (1974), 218.

71 Mason, R. J. et al. , ‘Early Iron Age settlement of southern AfricaS. Afr. J. Sci., lxix (1973), 324–6; Inskeep, and Maggs, , ‘Art Objects’.

72 Schofield, J. F., Primitive Pottery (Cape Town, 1948).

73 Maggs, T. M. O'C. and Michael, M. A., ‘Ntshekane, an Early Iron Age site in the Tugela Basin, NatalAnn Natal Mus., xxii, 3 (1976), 705–39.

74 Dutton, T. P., ‘Iron smelting furnace in the Ndumu Game ReserveLammergeyer, xii (1970), 3740.

75 Derricourt, R. M., Prehistoric man in the Ciskei and Transkei (in press).

76 Derricourt, R. M., ‘Some coastal shell middens in southern MozambiqueAzania, x (1975), 135–9.

77 Oliver, R. and Fagan, B. M., Africa in the Iron Age (Cambridge, 1975).

78 Phillipson, D. W., ‘Archaeology’.

79 This review; also Huffman, T. N., ‘Cattle from MabveniS. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxx (1975), 23–4.

80 Ehret, quoted in Phillipson, , ‘Archaeology’, 78.

81 Robinson, K. R., ‘Iron Age sites in the Dedza district of Malawi, Malawi Department of Antiquities, Publication No. 16 (1975); Sheppard, and Swart, , ‘Measurements V’.

82 Phillipson, D. W., ‘Iron Age history and archaeology in Zambia’, J. Afr. Hist., xv, 1 (1974), 125.

83 Bisson, M. S., unpubl. Ph.D. thesis. Anthropology Dept. McGill University. See also note 62 above and Bisson, M. S., ‘Copper-currency in Central Africa: the archaeological evidenceWorld Archaeology, vi, 3 (1975), 276–92.

84 Garlake, P. S., ‘Excavation of a Zimbabwe in MozambiqueAntiquity, l, 198 (1976), 146–8.

85 Summers, R., Zimbabwe: a Rhodesian mystery (Johannesburg, 1963).

86 Huffman, T. N., ‘An Arab coin from ZimbabweArnoldia, v, 32 (1972), 17.

87 Rudd, S., ‘Lekkerwater Ruins, Tsindi Hill, Theydon, RhodesiaProceedings and Transactions of the Rhodesia Scientific Association, lii, 2 (1968), 3850.

88 Ibid. 49; Phillipson, D. W., ‘Notes on the later prehistoric radiocarbon chronology of eastern and southern AfricaJ. Afr. Hist., xi, 1 (1970), 115; SR–124 of the fifteenth/ sixteenth century, also reported by Phillipson, is perhaps a little late.

89 Monro, D. F. and Spies, C. W., ‘Excavations at Musimbira, Bikita district, Rhodesia’, Arnoldia, xxii, 7 (1975). 111.

90 E.g. Robinson, K. R., Khami Ruins (Cambridge, 1959); Garlake, P. S., ‘The value of imported ceramics in the dating and interpretation of the Rhodesian Iron Age’, J. Afr. Hist., ix, 1 (1968), 1333.

91 Huffman, T. N., ‘A radiocarbon date from Regina Ruins, Rhodesia’, S. Afr. J. Sci., lxxii, 6 (1976), 180. The Lab. No. is given as Pta–1549 but Huffman, pers. comm., has supplied the No. Pta–1553.

92 Sheppard, and Swart, , ‘Measurements V’.

93 Pta–605 a.d. I700±50; Soper, , ‘Dates’.

94 Huffman, T. N., ‘Radiocarbon date from Zimbiti Ruin, Inyanga, RhodesiaS. Afr. J. Sci., lxxi (1975), 247–8.

95 Garlake, P. S., Great Zimbabwe (London: 1973); Huffman, T. N., ‘Ancient mining and ZimbabweJ. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Met., lxxiv (1974), 238–42.

96 Sheppard, and Swart, , ‘Measurements V’.

98 Garlake, P. S., ‘An Iron Age site on the Mukwichi River, Urungwe’, S. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxvi (1971), 147–52.

99 Dickinson, R. W., ‘The archaeology of the Sofala coastS. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxx (1975). 84104.

100 Gilot, E. and Capron, P. C., ‘Louvain natural radiocarbon measurements XII’, Radiocarbon, xv, 1 (1973), 127–33.

101 Vogel, J. C., Radiocarbon, xii (1970), 444–71; Evers, T. M. and van den Berg, R. P., ‘Ancient mining in southern Africa, with reference to a copper mine in the Harmony Block, north-eastern TransvaalJ. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Met., lxxiv (1974), 217–26.

102 Klapwijk, M., ‘An Early Iron Age site near Tzaneen, NE. Transvaal’, S. Afr.J. Sci., lxix (1973), 324; Evers, T. M., ‘Recent Iron Age research in the eastern Transvaal, South AfricaS. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xxx (1975), 7183.

103 Mason, R. J., ‘Background to the Transvaal Iron Age—new discoveries at Olifants-poort and BroederstroomJ. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Met., lxxiv (1974), 211–16.

104 Voigt, E., ‘Preliminary report on Welgegund: an Iron Age burial site’, S. Afr. archaeol. Bull., xviii (1972), 155–63.

105 Maggs, , ‘Communities’.

106 Ibid. The Kubung have been referred to incorrectly as Leghoya in much of the earlier literature.

107 Davies, O., ‘Excavations at the walled early Iron Age site in Moor Park near Estcourt, Natal’, Ann. Natal Mus., xxii, 1 (1974), 289323.

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