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The Acheulean in South Africa, with announcement of a new site (Penhill Farm) in the lower Sundays River Valley, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Lotter, Matt Geoffrey, Kuman, Kathleen
Quaternary International 2017
farms, rivers, South Africa
Our understanding of the South African Acheulean is heavily biased towards sites located in the interior of the country, namely in the Cradle of Humankind and those located along the Vaal and Orange Rivers. Although these sites have contributed significantly to our understanding of this complex tradition, our interpretations are often limited due to issues with site and assemblage preservation, and dating. It is therefore necessary to locate, excavate, and describe new sites and assemblages from a wider range of environments so that we can understand crucial aspects of hominid behaviour within a variety of ecological, climatological, and environmental contexts. Only two Acheulean sites have been recorded in the Eastern Cape Province (e.g., Amanzi Springs and Geelhoutboom) and of these only one has ever been excavated (Amanzi Springs). As a result there have been no well-described and dated Acheulean assemblages in this province, even though several authors have noted the presence of this material. This paper provides an introduction to a new study region in South Africa: the lower Sundays River Valley. By providing a detailed review of the South African Acheulean, we discuss the significance of this new study region in relation to our wider understanding of the South African Acheulean.