Sibudu Cave: background to the excavations, stratigraphy and dating
Sibudu Cave contains a long sequence of Middle Stone Age (MSA) occupations; the lithic assemblages can be attributed to a pre-Still Bay phase, a Still Bay Industry, Howiesons Poort Industry, post-Howiesons Poort phase and late and final MSA phases. Ages for the older industries are not yet finalised, but it is clear that they fit within Oxygen Isotope Stage 4. Optically stimulated luminescence ages for 14 sediment samples from the three youngest lithic phases are reported here; these have weighted mean ages of 60.1 ± 1.5 ka (post-Howiesons Poort), 49.7 ± 1.2 ka (late MSA) and 36.9 ± 1.2 ka (final MSA). Long hiatuses of 10.4 ± 1.4 ka and 12.8 ± 1.4 ka occur between the three age clusters. The periods of non-occupation in Oxygen Isotope Stage 3 may be associated with arid environments.
To cite this article: Wadley, L. & Jacobs, Z. 2006. Sibudu Cave: background to the excavations, stratigraphy and dating. Southern African Humanities 18 (1): 1-26.