Update on the 2011 excavation at Elands Bay Cave (South Africa) and the Verlorenvlei Stone Age<br />


  • G. Porraz Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud
  • V. C. Schmid University of Tübingen
  • C. E. Miller University of Tübingen
  • C. Tribolo Université de Bordeaux
  • C. R. Cartwright British Museum
  • A. Charrié-Duhaut Université de Strasbourg
  • M. Igreja University of Porto
  • S. Mentzer University of Tübingen
  • N. Mercier Université de Bordeaux
  • P. Schmidt University of Tübingen
  • N. J. Conard University of Tübingen
  • P.-J. Texier Université de Bordeaux
  • J. E. Parkington University of Cape Town


Elands Bay Cave (EBC) is one of the key sites for the analysis of the Late Pleistocene/Holocene record in southern Africa. It typifies an area of study, the West Coast of South Africa, which benefits from a long history of research, from the 1960s until today. The 2011 project of EBC was initiated within the framework of the Middle Stone Age (MSA) research at Diepkloof Rock Shelter (DRS). The objective was to build a local synthesis and a complementary picture on the basis of these two sites located 14 km apart from one another, on the left bank of the Verlorenvlei.
The excavation at EBC took place during May 2011 with the aim of clarifying the site formation processes, the chronology of the Late Pleistocene occupations as well as the nature of the technological sequence. Our excavation focused on a 1.2 m deep profile that records two main occupational phases separated by a significant hiatus: (1) the initial phase represents an early MSA technology (previously called ‘MSA 1’ by T. Volman 1981) within deposits that started accumulating ca. 250 ka years ago; (2) the second phase documents (late) MSA, Early Later Stone Age (ELSA) and Robberg occupations.
The present synthesis is part of a series of several papers that take a multidisciplinary perspective. In this paper, we introduce our 2011 excavation, present our main results and discuss the succession from the late MSA to the LSA at EBC. In an epilogue, we provide a comparison between the archaeological records of EBC and DRS and further explore the reasons why these two sites do not represent similar occupational sequences.



How to Cite

Porraz, G., Schmid, V. C., Miller, C. E., Tribolo, C., Cartwright, C. R., Charrié-Duhaut, A., Igreja, M., Mentzer, S., Mercier, N., Schmidt, P., Conard, N. J., Texier, P.-J., & Parkington, J. E. (2016). Update on the 2011 excavation at Elands Bay Cave (South Africa) and the Verlorenvlei Stone Age<br />. Southern African Humanities, 29, 33-68. Retrieved from http://www.sahumanities.org/ojs/index.php/SAH/article/view/377

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