The use of OSL dating in unstructured sands: The archaeology and chronology of the Hutton Sands at Canteen Kopje (Northern Cape Province, South Africa)

Michael Chazan, Naomi Porat, T. Alexandra Sumner, Liora Kolska Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Archaeological research at the site of Canteen Kopje, Northern Cape Province, South Africa, has focused on the rich Earlier Stone Age assemblages recovered from the Younger Vaal Gravels. This paper presents the results of excavation and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of the overlying Hutton Sands. We discuss the evidence for colonial period interaction between diamond miners and indigenous groups at the site, as well as the presence of an earlier phase of terminal Middle Stone Age/early Later Stone Age occupation. The OSL analyses demonstrate the potential distortion of OSL ages due to substantial bioturbation and its effect on the dating of archaeological sites situated in unconsolidated sands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-363
Number of pages13
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

Funding

Acknowledgments Research was carried out under SAHRA permit no. 80/04/06/016/51. Funding was provided by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the University of Toronto International Experiential Study Program. We would like to thank the director and staff of the McGregor Museum and the students from the University of Toronto who participated in the excavation. We thank the reviewers for their comments that greatly improved the manuscript.

FundersFunder number
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

    Keywords

    • Bioturbation
    • Canteen Kopje
    • Colonial archaeology
    • Early Later Stone Age
    • Middle Stone Age
    • Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL)

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