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Robberg Material Procurement and Transport in the Doring River Catchment: Evidence from the Open-Air Locality of Uitspankraal 9, Western Cape, South Africa

In: Journal of African Archaeology
Authors:
Sara Watson Department of Anthropology, University of California 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 USA

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Marika Low Centre for Archaeological Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric, and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong Northfields Ave Wollongong, NSW 2522 Australia

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Natasha Phillips Centre for Archaeological Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric, and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong Northfields Ave Wollongong, NSW 2522 Australia

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Corey O’Driscoll Centre for Archaeological Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric, and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong Northfields Ave Wollongong, NSW 2522 Australia

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Matthew Shaw Centre for Archaeological Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric, and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong Northfields Ave Wollongong, NSW 2522 Australia

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Chris Ames Centre for Archaeological Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric, and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong Northfields Ave Wollongong, NSW 2522 Australia
Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria Cornett Building, B228, Victoria, BC Canada

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Zenobia Jacobs Centre for Archaeological Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric, and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong Northfields Ave Wollongong, NSW 2522 Australia
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, School of Earth, Atmospheric, and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong Northfields Ave Wollongong, NSW 2522 Australia

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Alex Mackay Centre for Archaeological Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric, and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong Northfields Ave Wollongong, NSW 2522 Australia
Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town Beattie Building, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701 South Africa

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Abstract

Decisions related to the production of lithic technology involve landscape-scale patterns of resource acquisition and transport that are not observable in assemblages from any one single site. In this study, we describe the stone artifacts from a discrete cluster of stone artifacts assigned to the Robberg technocomplex (22-16 ka) at the open-air locality of Uitspankraal 9 (UPK9), which is located near two major sources of toolstone in the Doring River catchment of Western Cape, South Africa. OSL dating of the underlying sediment unit provides a terminus post quem age of 27.5 ± 2.1 ka for the assemblage. Comparison of near-source artifact reduction at UPK9 with data from three rock shelter assemblages within the Doring watershed – Putslaagte 8 (PL8), Klipfonteinrand Rock Shelter (KFR), and Mertenhof Rock Shelter (MRS) – suggests that “gearing-up” with cores and blanks occurred along the river in anticipation of transport into the wider catchment area. The results reveal an integrated system of technological supply in which raw materials from different sources were acquired, reduced, and transported in different ways throughout the Doring River region.

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