Location: Richtersveld, South Africa
Archaeological investigations in South Africa’s rugged and remote Namaqualand desert are aimed at reconstructing the flexible survival behaviors so characteristic of our species. Ancient desert adaptations will be explored through excavations at one of three spectacular rockshelters – Spitzkloof B – and surveys in the surrounding arid landscape. Although the region boasts an extremely rich archaeological record stretching back well over 60,000 years, it remains virtually unexplored. Camping in a red-sand valley and working alongside experts in southern African prehistory, students will reconstruct ancient desert lifestyles and in the process gain experience with a range of archaeological materials, techniques and methods.
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Entire duration of field school
Room and Board Arrangements
Dewar, G. & Stewart, B.A. (2012). Preliminary results of excavations at Spitzkloof Rockshelter, Richtersveld, South Africa. Quaternary International 270: 30-39.
Dewar, G. & Orton, J. (In Press). Subsistence, settlement, and material culture on the central Namaqualand coastline In: Jerardino, A., Braun, D. & Malan, A. (Eds.), Archaeology of the West Coast, South Africa. Witwatersrand University Press, Johannesburg. 44 pgs.
Dewar G. & Stewart, B.A. (In Press) Crossroads in the desert: MIS 6 to 2. In: Stewart, B.A. & Jones, S. (Eds.), Africa from MIS 6-2: Population Dynamics and Paleoenvironments. Springer, Dordecht.
Stewart, B.A. et al. (2012). Afromontane foragers of the Late Pleistocene: site formation, chronology and occupational pulsing at Melikane Rockshelter, Lesotho. Quaternary International 270: 40-60.
Stewart, B.A. & Dewar G. (n.d.). Adaptations to Marginal Environments in the Middle Stone Age (Project AMEMSA): Research Design and Goals. Unpublished report.