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J Hum Evol. 2007 Jun;52(6):681-9. Epub 2007 Jan 27.

Announcing a Still Bay industry at Sibudu Cave, South Africa.

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  • 1Archaeology Department, School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS 2050, South Africa. <>


Sibudu Cave in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, has a long Middle Stone Age (MSA) sequence with good organic preservation. The uppermost MSA sequence includes industries attributed to the final and late MSA and the Howiesons Poort. Below the Howiesons Poort are two layers containing some thin, bifacial lanceolate points, mostly in the form of distal and proximal fragments. These double-pointed foliates are the fossile directeur of the Still Bay Industry, and importantly, this Sibudu industry provides confirmation that the Still Bay predates the Howiesons Poort Industry. Technologically, the points from Sibudu are comparable to those from other South African sites with Still Bay occurrences (e.g., Blombos Cave and Hollow Rock Shelter). Although dating of the Sibudu Still Bay is preliminary, its age falls within the range of that at Blombos. For the past two decades, archaeologists have rejected the idea of a Still Bay Industry occurring outside of the Western Cape, but the Still Bay at Sibudu shows that this industry was, indeed, geographically widespread.

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