The archaeology of a rock shelter and a stone circle at Kuidas Spring, North-West Namibia

by Anzel Veldman

Institution: University of Johannesburg
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1428461
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/13738


Stone circle open-air settlements occur in Namibia and South Africa. Stone circles were occupied during the past 2000 years. It is during this time that livestock and pottery reached southern Africa via a process of either migration/diffusion or both. In southern Africa people have different subsistence strategies such as hunting, gathering and/or herding. In an anthropological context it is sometimes possible to differentiate between people based on linguistics, settlement layouts and ideology. Prior to the introduction of domestic goats/sheep and pottery, people with hunter-gatherer practices inhabited southern Africa. However, to differentiate between the „original‟ hunter-gatherer population, immigrant herders and hunter-gatherers that accepted livestock based on the archaeological record remains challenging. It has been proposed that hunter-gatherers abandoned rock shelters after acquiring caprines and built stone circle settlements to have more space for their flocks. Kuidas Spring is an archaeological site with rock shelters, stone circles, cairns and rock art. I excavated one rock shelter, a stone circle and a cairn, all features date within the last 2000 years. I conducted a typological and technological analyses of the lithics and ostrich eggshell beads. Based on the outcome there seems to be no differences between artefact assemblages. In addition no remains of caprines or cattle were found. The current evidence from Kuidas Spring suggest that it was a seasonal encampment that could have been utilised by both hunter-gatherers and herders, the latter probably reached Namibia through a process of migration and diffusion.