With five years of excavation at Sibudu complete and the team from the University of Tübingen now starting its sixth season, this is a good time to summarize what we have accomplished and to discuss the goals for the coming years of excavation. Our excavation has documented a long sequence of high resolution occupations at Sibudu dating to ca.58,000 years ago. In this part of the stratigraphic sequence we see very clear changes in the stone tool technology used at the site and can demonstrate that the Middle Stone Age assemblages from the period following Howiesons Poort are anything but static. Contrary to earlier suggestions we see this period as one of innovation and important cultural change. Given the high quality of this part of the archaeological sequence at Sibudu, the site can serve as a type locality for understanding cultural change during the later phases of the MSA.
The team from Tübingen has also extended the excavations at the base of the stratigraphic sequence to include six new units predating 77,000 years ago. This work also provides many new insights into cultural change during the Still Bay cultural periods of the Middle Stone Age. We can demonstrate that many aspects of Still Bay technology, including the bifacial points that are characteristic of the period, are not limited to a narrow span of a few thousand years and that the patterns of cultural change are both more complex and more interesting than had been thought previously. The recent years of excavation at Sibudu built on the seminal work at the site by Lyn Wadley and show that the site warrants exceptional measures to protect it for future generations of scholars and for the public at large.
If you would like to join us for supper at Marcos after the talk, please contact Barbara at email@example.com or 083 472 5566 by Monday the 7th March.
Prof. Nicholas Conard - University of Tübingen
Tuesday 8th March, 18h30, Durban Natural Science Museum Research Centre, Wyatt Road
SOUTH AFRICAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY - KWAZULU-NATAL BRANCH