Before Farming

Hunter-gatherers or herders? Reconsidering the Swartkop & Doornfontein Industries, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Before Farming (2007), 2007, (4), 1–10.

Abstract

Existing descriptions of the so-called Swartkop and Doornfontein industries are briefly summarised, whereafter, based on a comparison with the characteristics of five artefact assemblages from the interior of the Northern Cape Province, South Africa, that yielded radiocarbon dates within the last two millennia, these descriptions are assessed. Variability between the assemblages, attributed to the Swartkop and Doornfontein in the literature, and areas of overlap and uncertainty are demonstrated. Finally, the existence of two signatures and the possibility that they relate to different socio-economies – those of hunter-gatherers and stock-keepers – is considered against current evidence.

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Parsons, Isabelle