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Hunter-gatherer-fishers of the Fish River basin : a contribution to the Holocene prehistory of the eastern Cape

dc.contributor.advisorDeacon, J.en_ZA
dc.contributor.authorHall, Simon Leeen_ZA
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Ancient Studies.
dc.date.accessioned2012-08-27T12:09:47Z
dc.date.available2012-08-27T12:09:47Z
dc.date.issued1990
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/67293
dc.descriptionThesis (D.Phil.) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1990.
dc.description.abstractENGLISH 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.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis verskaf verklarings van die Holoseen Later Steentydperk in die Oos-kaap gedurende die laaste 5500 jaar. Daar word spesifiek gefokus op jagter-versamelaar strategië vir die beheer en vermindering van risiko. Noodsaaklike sosiale behoeftes en omgewingsfaktore word bier op gelyke voet gestel in 'n poging om die bewoning van nuwe gebiede in die Later Steentydperk na waarde se skat. Hierdie benadering fokus op die veranderinge wat aktiewelik deur jagter-versamelaar-vissers in hul sosiale organisasie geïnisieër is. Dit bet verander van oop netwerke, ingegeslote sosiale stelsels, na meer geslote netwerke, beperkte vestigingsgebiede en toenemende eksklusiewe sosiale gedrag wat deur mededingende selfbelang teweeggebring is. Die primêre databasis is verkry van die terreine by Edgehill en Welgeluk, twee rivieroewerskuilings wat uit die laaste 5500 jaar dateer. Die ontleding van hierdie vindplekke in 'n breër streekskonteks toon aan dat veranderinge in risikobeheer bespeur kan word deur 'n verskuiwing na meer intensiewe ontginning van varswatersmossels, vis, krappe en skilpaaie asook die ontwikkeling van bergingsputte om toegang tot seisoenale olieryke sade te verleng. Hierdie toename is duidelik vanaf ongeveer 4000 jaar gelede. Hierdie verskuiwing van die bestaansfokus na nie-seisoenale bronne dui op 'n onlosmaakbare skakel tussen verskeie faktore naamlik die demografiese versadiging van streke en 'n neiging tot verhoogde gesete bevolking. As gevolg daarvan bet die tradisionele rol van mobiliteit as 'n strategie vir die beheer van risiko minder effektief geword. Gelyktydig moet verhoogde kompeterende selfbelang bet 'n sterker identiteit tussen mens en plek ontwikkel. Hierdie identiteit word op streeksbasis geopenbaar deur die manipulasie van litietse ru-materiale en plaaslik deur die praktyk van begrawings in grotte. Die aankoms van herders en gemengde boerdery het 'n spektrum van moontlikhede vir interaksie meegebring. Dit is belangrik dat die jagter-versamelaars aktiewe 'spelers' binne hierdie komplekse sosiale landskap gebly het en nie slegs passief onder druk van eksterne magte verander het nie. 'n Algemene gevolgtrekking van hierdie studie wys op die ontoereikendheid van die San etnografie om die vertolking van die diachroniese prosesse, wat in die studie beklemtoon word, te lei. Ooreenstemmende etnografiese en argeologiese studies van meer komplekse jagter-versamelaars word net so geskik geag om die verklarende potensiaal aan die oos- en suid-Kaapse Holoseen opeenvolging maksimaal te benut.af_ZA
dc.format.extent332 pages : illustrations
dc.language.isoen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
dc.subjectExcavations (Archaeology) -- South Africa -- Eastern Capeen_ZA
dc.subjectArchaeology -- South Africa -- Eastern Capeen_ZA
dc.subjectDissertations -- Archaeologyen_ZA
dc.subjectUCTDen_ZA
dc.titleHunter-gatherer-fishers of the Fish River basin : a contribution to the Holocene prehistory of the eastern Capeen_ZA
dc.typeThesis
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch University


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