Browsing Doctoral Degrees (Ancient Studies) by Subject "Archaeology -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape"
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- ItemHunter-gatherer-fishers of the Fish River basin : a contribution to the Holocene prehistory of the eastern Cape(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1990) Hall, Simon Lee; Deacon, J.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Ancient Studies.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis provides interpretations of the Holocene Later Stone Age of the eastern Cape which focus specifically upon hunter-gatherer strategies for managing and reducing risk over the last 5500 years. In this effort, social imperatives are given equal weight to environmental factors in assessing the Later Stone Age settlement of new areas. This approach focuses upon the changes actively instituted by hunter-gatherer-fishers in their social organisation. These changed from open network, inclusive social systems, to more closed networks, restricted settlement ranges and increasingly exclusive social behaviour wrought by competitive self interest. The primary data base comes from the sites of Edgehill and Welgeluk, two riverine shelters dating to the last 5500 years. The analyses of these sites within a br0ader regiom~l context show that changes in risk management can be recognised by a shift towards more intensive exploitation of freshwater mussels, fish, crab and tortoises, as well as the development of storage pits in order to prolong access to seasonally restricted oil rich seeds. This intensification is apparent from about 4000 BP. This subsistence focus upon an 'aseasonal' resource base infers an inseparable linkage between several factors. These are regional demographic saturation and a trend towards increased sedentism. Consequently, the traditional role of mobility as a strategy for managing risk becomes Jess effective. Concurrent with intensification and increasing competitive self-interest was a firmer identity between people and place. This identity is regionally signified through the manipulation of lithic raw materials and more locally through the practice of focused cave burial. The arrival of herders and mixed farmers produced a spectrum of interaction posibilities. Of importance is that hunter-gatherers remained active 'players' within this complex social landscape and did not simply passively change because of external forces. A general conclusion from this study points out the inadequacy of the San ethnography for guiding the interpretations of the diachronic processes highlighted in this study. Ethnographic and archaeological analogs from studies of more complex hunter-gatherers are deemed equally appropriate for maximising the interpretative potentials or the eastern and southern Cape Holocene sequences.