In the midst of the South African MSA, the Stillbay and Howiesons Poort technological complexes are marked by a set of ‘precocious’ indicators of modern character of the sort that characterize the industries that follow them. Unfortunately, the relative chronology of these two complexes has remained imprecise: both radiometric dates and relevant archaeological sequences are rare.
Excavations begun in 1998 in Diepkloof rockshelter (Western Cape) have provieded a sequence in which the Stillbay facies clearly underlies the Howiesons Poort assemblages. In addition, the Diepkloof Howiesons Poort assemblages have now been dated, by thermo-luminescence, to between 55 and 65 ky.
Middle Stone Age, South Africa, Howiesons Poort, Stillbay, Diepkloof, lithic techno-complex, chronology