On Some Stone Implements Found in a Cave in Griqualand-East, Cape Colony

Minett E. Frames, T. Rupert Jones
1899 The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland  
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more » ... prefaces his description of the cave with remarks onl 8tolie imiiplements in general. With regard to those of South Africa, lhe regrets lie has met with very little descriptive literature, Mr. E. J. Duln's memoir in the Trans. Philosoph. Soc. of Soitdl Africa being the only accoulnt of them known to hillm.] THE cave to which I wish to draw attelntionl occurs on a farm lnamiied "Curragh," on one of the spurs of the Drakensberg, and close to the Umdowaall River, the boundary-lilne between Natal and Griqualand-East. This cave, or rather rockshelter, has beeln formed by the weatherinig away of a sanldstonie-and-shale-breccia, leaving an overlhanging ledge and a floor of hard sandstone. These shale-breccias invariably weather away first, especially when the shale is abuindalnt in the rock. When olne of these hollow shelters is found with water in the immiiiediate vicinity, it is sure to show signs of havincg been inhabited at one tilmie or anotlier. Over the ledge-roof of the Curragh Cave, a strealli of water falls clear of the floor and partly obscures the entrance. The dwellers in these caves probably inhabited only those that had water close at hand, as they do not appear to have had vessels to carry it ill, anld possibly they had to stalnd an occasiolnal siege by an enelmiy. This cave was twice inhabited. The record of the last dwellers is easily deciphered. They built three semiii-circular walls across the entralnce to add to the comfort of the abode; and these walls have been orlnamnented with a solmiewlhat artistic designi, picke(d out with clays of various colours in broad and narrow balnds. The style of ornlamentation aldi the type of architecture are distilnctly characteristic of the Basuto nation. The inihabitants of the district informed miie that Basutos did live in this particular cave, and that before them it was illhabited by Bushmen. The Basuto famlily, on taking possession of the cave, swept it out, and threw the rubbish right in flont of the cave under the miniature waterfall, where I found it still lying in an undistulbed heap. Some paintings on the well of the cave are evidently the work of the Bushmen, with whom the eland was a favourite subject of their art. These appear to be ancient, anid, though in sheltered parts of the cave, have a worn aspect. There are s 2 Journal of the SnGhropological Insf,if,ute (y.S.), Fot. I, Plafe fEPI. .. . . . . 27. Compare Dunn's Fig. 5. One end roughly chipped to a semicircle. Brown chalcedony. 24. Compare Dunn's Fig. 5. Chalcedoiny, grey and brownish. One end has had its edge crushed. 22. Compare Dunn's Fig. 5. Impuire chalcedony, With somne old weatherinig on the thick edge. Dressed or iused on one edge. Nos. 25 and 23. Short pieces of flakes, dressed by chipping oni the convex face. 25. Dull white chalcedoniy. Thick and suboblong. 23. Dull grey clhalcedoniy (like flint). Tliclk suboval. Used on the culrved edge and on the blunt end. [Fig. 5, No. 33.] No. 12. Probably a smiall " waster." Smiioothed however on the edges. Nos. 13, 14, 15. Ptather large flakes, rounded at one end, and chisel-slhaped at the other. 13. Chipped at the roulnded end, along one side, anid into an ogee, gouigelike curve at the other end. A large patclh of thick, old, brown weatbering is present on one face. 14. Long-oblong, rounded at one end; chipped alonga one edge, and across the, other end obliquely. [Fig. 7, No. 14.] 15. PRoughly shaped; subacute at the bulb-enid, nearlv straiglht oIn the two edges, and coarsely chipped to a blunt straight edge at the oth-er enld A portion of the old, thick, brown weatherinig (like " 'miountain-cork ") remains on one face. No. 17. Somewhat elegant in outlinie, nearly ftisiform, or rather fish-like; dressed carefuilly to a iarrow niot quite symmetrical shape, sharp at the ends, and convex on one face. Compare Dunn's Fig. 10 , whichl is much better finislhed and more rhombic in shape. [Fig. 6, No. 17.] No. 28. A suLboval, concavo-convex stonie, somewhat like a thick hollow, subacute spoon, of granular felspathic (not calcareous, nor siliceous) kind of rock. Probably part of an outer coatinlg of some weathered nodule. Nos. 8, 30, 11, 1, 2, 3, 5, 29, 6, 4, 9, 10, 26. Draw-shaves, side-scrapers, or stick-shaves. Pieces of irregular flakes, miiore or less hollowedl on one, two, or three of the thini edges by chipping and by use inito seimiicircular notches, probably for sharpeniing the points of weapons of wood andcl bone; and for shaping and simioothiing shafts for spears anid arrows, anid sticks for bows, and for digging, fightilng, etc. Ill somne cases, the elolngate shape (as Nos. 1, 2, 3) allows of the suppositioni (Mr. Framiies stuggests) that the implemiienit muiay have been held by the first finger and thuu)b in skinninig an animal, and subsequently for removing the fatty material fromi the skin, preparatory to dressinig it. In1 the fuirtlier preparation by rubbilng and smiioothingi, the skin some of the otimer iimipleimients lIave received the smoothly-worn aspect that their edges presemmt. Nos. 8 and 30 are conmiparable with Duiiii's Fig. 3, p. 13. The smaootlhings of the old weathered portion may have I een due to ancienit water-action This content downloaded from on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 08:04:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions foutnd in a Cave in Griqgaland-East, Cape Colony. 255 in No. 1, as an old river-stone; so also Nos. 26 and 10. Some of this group are quite analogous to specimens from the plateau-gravel of Kent, collected by Mr. B. Harrison, of Ightham.1 In the Journ. Anthrop. Inst., vol. xi (1881), in Plate XXX, Figs. 6A aind B, are shown two faces of a flint-tool, of an analogtous type, for scraping and shaping sticks. This specimeni General Pitt-Rivers picked up at Gebel Laha-Mare, in Egypt, aiid describes as a "Hollow scraper for planing roun(I surfaces." Many specimens of such hollow-edged and crescentic flint implements (" croissants concaves ") from the gravel of the Seine in the Paris basin, and others from the Vall6e du Grand Morin, are figured in Plates 3, 4, 13 and 14 of M. A. Thieullen's memoir entitled Les v6)ritables instruments usuels de l'age cle la pier-re. 4to. Paris, 1897. S. Side-scraper. Rouglh flake, sub-oblong, broadly and deeply hollowed by rough chipping on one edge. Ends approximately equal. Edges partially smiioothed. (A small analogue is published by Capt. Hutton,
doi:10.2307/2842875 fatcat:qktft5tw3jeudb4fgwtpkbksvq