Palynological and palaeobotanical studies in the Southern Cape

Scholtz, Anton (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 1986-12)

Thesis (MA (Archaeology))--University of Stellenbosch, 1985.

Thesis

This thesis consists of five separate studies (Chapters 2-6), each presented in the form of a self contained research paper. Chapter 2 deals with the analysis of palynomorph (pollen and spore) assemblages, while Chapters 3 to 6 deal with the analysis of charcoal assemblages. The pollen record preserved in the 3 m deep Norga Peat, located on the coastal platform west of the town of George (Fig.l.l), was analysed using measures of relative abundance of identified pollen types and by measures of pollen concentration. Evidence for three climatic phases in the last 4 000 years was obtained. In the earliest phase 4000 - 2500 B.P. conditions were favourable for the spread of forest, the climate was equable and adequate rain was received in summer. From 2500 - 1800 B.P. the climate was less favourable and west of George, forest vegetation only survived in protected and relatively well watered kloofs and lower mountain slopes. The climate then ameliorated and since 1800 B.P. conditions have been similar to the present. However, the present day climate is not as favourable for forest vegetation as was the climate during the Holocene climatic optimum before 2500 B. P • The Cango Valley lies 75 km north of the Norga site, inland of the town of Oudtshoorn and below the Swartberg Mountains. ...

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