Re-investigation of the Matjes River rock shelter

Döckel, Willemien (1998-03)

Thesis (MA) --Stellenbosch University, 1998.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The rehabilitation of the Matjes River rock shelter on the eastern side of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, provided an opportunity to obtain new information on the deposits. A metre wide column was excavated through six metres of shell-rich deposits at the junction of two cuttings made in the 1920s and 1950s and known as the "Apex". A small section was cut into the upper layers in the entrance area. A suite of radiocarbon dates shows the deposits to be between 6300 and 10 600 years old with a possible hiatus in deposition between 9000 and 8000 years ago. The hiatus is marked by a disconformity that separates an upper loose shelly deposit from a series of finely bedded loams. The sequence includes artefacts of the Wilton and Albany industries and the transition between these industries is dated to 7400 BP. In the relative frequencies of Donax serra and Pema pema, the shellfish remains show there was a change from a sandy to a rocky shore environment that can be accounted for by the rise of sea level in the Holocene. There is no evidence that shellfish were intensely exploited and farmed down. As observed at Nelson Bay Cave, Choromytilus meridionalis is more common in deposits 9000 years and older. This suggests that the low sea surface temperatures of the Late Pleistocene persisted in the beginning of the Holocene. Information obtained on the deposits is being presented in educational displays for visitors to the site.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die rehabilitasie van die Matjesrivier rotsskuiling, gelee aan die oostelike kant van Plettenbergbaai, Suid-Afrika, het 'n goeie geleentheid verskaf am nuwe informasie te bekom oar die opeenvolging. 'n Meter wye kolom is uitgegrawe deur 6 meter van skulpryke depositos by die kruispunt van die twee uitgrawings wat gedoen is gedurende die 1920s en 1950s en wat bekendstaan as die "Apex". 'n Klein seksie is uitgegrawe in die boonste lae van die ingangsarea. 'n Reeks van radiokoolstofdaterings toon aan dat die afsetting dateer tussen 6300 en 10 600 jaar gelede met 'n moontlike breek in deposisie tussen 9000 en 8000 jaar. Hierdie breek word gemerk deur 'n onreelmatigheid wat die boonste Ios skulp afsettings van 'n reeks leeme skei. Die opeenvolging sluit artefakte van die Wilton en Albany industriee in en die oorgang tussen hiedie industriee is gedateer tot 7400 BP. In die relatiewe frekwensies van D. serra en P. pema toon die skulpvis oorblyfsels aan dat daar 'n oorgang vanaf 'n sanderige tot rotsagtige omgewing plaasgevind het wat deur die styging van die seevlakke in die Holoseen verklaar word. Daar is geen bewyse dat skulpvis intensief geeksplioteer was nie. Soos by Nelsonbaai grot is C. meriidionalis meer algemeen in die depositos wat 9000 j;;:tar en ouer is. Dit suggereer dat die laer see temperature van die Laat Pleistoseen tot aan die begin van die Holoseen geduur het. lnformasie wat deur die uitgrawing bekom is word gebruik vir opvoedkundige uitstallings vir besoekers aan die vindplaas.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/55964
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