Looking beneath the surface: Later Stone Age remains at Klipgats Pan, Bushmanland, South Africa
A set of open-air Later Stone Age sites near the town of Copperton, South Africa, was found to be rich in quartz artefacts that frequently include backed tools and adzes. Comparison with contemporaneous Bushmanland assemblages suggests greater variety in material culture during the past two millennia in the region than hitherto recognised and that categorical distinctions between hunter-gatherer and herder material culture may require revision. We describe the extent of the ‘Bushmanland’ region from an archaeological perspective and find that ‘looking beneath the surface’ of local open-air sites in this arid region to maximise the amount of information extracted is critical. Future research into precolonial herding in southern Africa will also benefit from the inter-regional integration of archaeological findings.
KEY WORDS: Klipgats Pan, Bushmanland, Later Stone Age, Swartkop, Doornfontein.