Heritage Files: 8 SIBUDU

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Heritage Files: 8 SIBUDU

Unread post by micromammal »

Sibudu (nr Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal) is currently being processed for proclamation as both a National Heritage Site and Provincial Heritage Site (KZN). It is also part of a proposed Serial World Heritage Site nomination.

Sibudu has a comprehensive Middle Stone Age history well dated to between 77 000 and 38 000 years ago. This period is seldom represented in such detail in other South African sites, especially outside the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces, and it is therefor a model for the national Middle Stone Age sequence during a significant stage marked by a florescence of material culture that seems to imply complex human cognition. The 58 000 year old occupation is represented by more than 20 distinct horizons and it is possible to recognise clear activity areas in each horizon. This site has exceptional organic preservation and has yielded early shell beads at 70 000 years ago, a suite of early boon tools (from 77 000 years ago), including the world's oldest bone arrowhead (65 000 years ago, the world's earliest evidence for sedge and grass bedding (from 77 000 years ago) and early evidence for the use of a variety of compound adhesive recipes. Sibudu is well-dated because its quartz-rich sediments are ideal for luminescence dating.

The site was mostly excavated by Prof Lyn Wadley from WITS