Continuity, Variability and the Nature of Technological Change During the Late Pleistocene at Klipfonteinrand Rockshelter in the Western Cape, South Africa
This paper discusses the late Pleistocene lithic sequence at Klipfonteinrand (KFR) rockshelter in the eastern Cederberg of the Western Cape. A characteristically Robberg technological system associated with the production of small silcrete blades from small cores was in place at the site by ~ 22 ka (thousand years ago) with a hornfels-dominant, non-microlithic Oakhurst system replacing it ~ 16 ka. Key technological differences in lithic material selection, artifact size, form, and techniques relating to the manufacturing process itself are apparent between early and later components within the Robberg, and between the Robberg and Oakhurst more broadly. Results suggest that technological change during the late Pleistocene was a fluid process involving continual modifications within the broad regional technological system. Variation during the Robberg occurred within a constrained range and the nature of change through the sequence was overall relatively gradual. The KFR data contributes to the emerging picture of the Robberg as temporally, spatially, and technologically complex with nuanced variation at a very fine scale of analysis.