Skip to main content Accesibility Help

Archaeological Investigations at two Lesotho Rock-shelters: Terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene Assemblages from Ha Makotoko and Ntloana Tsoana

  • P. J. Mitchell (a1)

Results of the excavation of two rock-shelters in the Phuthiatsana-ea-Thaba Bosiu Basin of western Lesotho, southern Africa are reported. Later Stone Age occupation at both sites was principally a feature of the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene. Analysis of the artefact assemblages shows that, while all in situ occurrences belong to the Oakhurst Industrial Complex, significant differences are apparent between those pre- and post-dating 7500 BC. A shift towards hunting smaller bovids and changes in site occupation at the regional scale are also evident at this time. Differences between the archaeological signatures at the two sites are discussed in the light of recent models of seasonal aggregation and dispersal. Comparisons are drawn with the archaeological record of neighbouring parts of South Africa and a strong contrast is suggested between terminal Pleistocene! early Holocene settlement strategies and those of the recent Holocene within the research area.

Hide All
Acocks, J. P. H. 1975. Veld types of South Africa. Botanical Survey of South Africa Memoir 40, 1128.
Arbousset, T. & Daumas, F. 1968. Narrative of an Exploratory Tour to the North-east of the Cape of Good Hope. Cape Town: Struik.
Bawden, M. G. & Carroll, D. M. 1968. The Land Resources of Lesotho. London: United Kingdom Directorate of Overseas Surveys.
Bousman, B. 1990. Implications of dating the Lockshoek Industry from the Interior Plateau of southern Africa. Nyame Akutna 32, 3033.
Burrow, J. 1971. Travels in the Wilds of Africa. (Kirby, P. R. ed.). Cape Town: Balkema.
Carter, P. L., Mitchell, P. J. & Vinnicombe, P. 1988. Sehonghong: The Middle and Later Stone Age Industrial Sequence at a Lesotho Rock-Shelter. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.
Clark, J. D. 1959. The Prehistory of Southern Africa. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Crader, D. 1984. Hunters in Iron Age Malawi. Lilongwe: Malawi Department of Antiquities.
Deacon, H. J. & Deacon, J. 1980. The hafting, function and distribution of small convex scrapers with an example from Boomplaas Cave. South African Archaeological Bulletin 35, 3137.
Deacon, J. 1984. The Later Stone Age of Southernmost Africa. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.
Deacon, J. & Lancaster, N. 1988. The Late Quaternary Palaeoenvironments of Southern Africa. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Germond, F. 1967. Chronicles of Basutoland. Morija: Morija Sesuto Book Depot.
Kaplan, J. 1987. Settlement and subsistence at Renbaan Cave. In Parkington, J. E. & Hall, M. (eds), Papers in the Prehistory of the Western Cape, South Africa, 350–77. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.
Kuman, K. & Clarke, R. J. 1986. Florisbad — new investigations at a Middle Stone Age hominid site in South Africa. Geoarchaeology 1, 103–25.
Leslie Brooker, M. 1989. The Holocene sequence from Uniondale rock shelter in the eastern Cape. South African Archaeological Society Goodwin Series 6, 1732.
Loubser, J., Brink, J. S. & Laurens, G. 1990. Paintings of the extinct blue antelope, Hippotragus leucophaeus, in the eastern Orange Free State. South African Archaeological Bulletin 45, 106–11.
Maclean, G. L. 1983. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund.
Mazel, A. D. 1989. People making history: the last ten thousand years of hunter-gatherer communities in the Thukela Basin. Natal Museum Journal of Humanities 1, 1168.
Mitchell, P. J. 1988. The Early Microlithic Assemblages of Southern Africa. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.
Mitchell, P. J. 1990. The Later Stone Age archaeology of the western lowlands of Lesotho. Unpublished paper deliverede to the Biennial Conference of the Southern African Association of Archaeologists, Kimberley, September.
Mitchell, P. J. 1993. The archaeology of Tloutle rock shelter, Maseru District, Lesotho. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum (Bloemfontein) 9, 77132.
Mitchell, P. J. & Steinberg, J. M. 1992. Ntloana Tsoana: a Middle Stone Age sequence from western Lesotho. South African Archaeological Bulletin 47, 2633.
Mitchell, P. J. & Vogel, J. C. 1992. Implications of recent radiocarbon dates from western Lesotho. South African Journal of Science 88, 175–76.
Opperman, H. 1987. The Later Stone Age of the Drakensberg Range and its Foothills. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.
Parkington, J. E. 1984. Changing views ofthe Later Stone Age of South Africa. Advances in World Archaeology 3, 89142.
Parkington, J. E., Poggenpoel, C. & Yates, R. 1987. Lesotho Rescue Archaeology 1982/83. Cape Town: University of Cape Town.
Plug, I. 1993. The macrofaunal and molluscan remains from Tloutle, a Later Stone Age site in Lesotho. Southern African Field Archaeology 2, 4448.
Plug, I. & Engela, R. 1992. The macrofaunal remains from recent excavations at Rose Cottage Cave, Orange Free State. South African Archaeological Bulletin 47, 1625.
Sampson, C. G. 1974. The Stone Age Archaeology of Southern Africa. New York: Academic Press.
Sampson, C. G. 1985. Atlas of Stone Age settlement in the central and upper Seacow Valley. Memoirs ofthe National Museum (Bloemfontein) 20, 1116.
Shortt-Smith, , 1963. Basutoland. In Harrison, A. C. (ed.), Freshwater Fish and Fishing in Africa, 5572. Johannesburg: Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd.
Smits, L. G. A. 1983. Rock paintings in Lesotho, their content and characteristics. South African Archaeological Bulletin 38, 6276.
Wadley, L. 1987. Later Stone Age Hunters and Gatherers of the Southern Transvaal. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.
Wadley, L., Esterhuysen, A. & Jeannerat, C. 1992. Vegetation changes in the eastern Orange Free State: the Holocene and late Pleistocene evidence from charcoal studies at Rose Cottage Cave. South African Journal of Science 88, 558–63.
Wadley, L. & Vogel, J. C. 1991. New dates from Rose Cottage Cave, Ladybrand, eastern Orange Free State. South African Journal of Science 87, 605608.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
  • ISSN: 0079-497X
  • EISSN: 2050-2729
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-prehistoric-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed