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Bedding, hearths, and site maintenance in the Middle Stone Age of Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Research paper by Paul Goldberg, Christopher E. Miller, Solveig Schiegl, Bertrand Ligouis, Francesco Berna, Nicholas J. Conard, Lyn Wadley

Indexed on: 13 May '09Published on: 13 May '09Published in: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences



Abstract

Micromorphological analysis of sediments from the Middle Stone Age site of Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, provides a high-resolution sequence and evidence of site formation processes of predominantly anthropogenic deposits. This methodology allows for a detailed interpretation of individual anthropogenic activities, including the construction of hearths and bedding and the maintenance of occupational surfaces through the sweep out of hearths and the repeated burning of bedding. This analysis also provides a context for evaluating other studies at the site relating to magnetic susceptibility, paleobotany, paleozoology, anthracology, and studies of ochre.