Amanzi Springs Acheulian Site (South Africa)

Since 2015 Prof Herries has run excavations and research at the Amanzi Springs Palaeolithic site in the Eastern Cape of South Africa with Dr Matt Caruana of the University of Johannesburg (Centre for Anthropological Research). Amanzi Springs was first excavated by Ray Inskeep in 1963 and then Hilary Deacon until 1965. These excavations established a rare series of stratified Acheulian deposits around two spring eyes and only the second occurrence in Africa of wood with early stone age archaeology. Despite this the site has not been reinvestigated in over 50 years.

The Area 1 excavations of Deacon

 

A preliminary survey of the site in 2015 established that all 11 spring eyes at the site contain archaeology and that some contained only Acheulian archaelogy, while others contained Middle Stone Age (MSA) or potentially a mixture of Acheulian and MSA looking elements (points and blades). In 2016 an extensive 3D survey was undertaken of Deacon and Inskeep’s area 1 excavations (above) that are still open and visible. ¬†Deacon kept meticulous notes and thus with the aid of Celeste Booth of the Albany Museum in Grahamstown one of our honours students (David Crotty) has been working on reconstructing the 3D coordinates of the legacy data from the site. We have also conducted ground penetrating radar and photogrammetry of the site the work from which is currently under review for publication.

Wood from Amanzi Springs

Wood from Amanzi Springs

 

MSA from Amanzi Springs

MSA from Amanzi Springs