African Archaeological Review

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 29–44 | Cite as

Late Holocene Fauna from Kuidas Spring in Namibia

  • Shaw Badenhorst
  • Anzel Veldman
  • Marlize Lombard
Original Article


We present the results of faunal analyses from the recently excavated site of Kuidas Spring in north-western Namibia. The site includes rock shelters, stone circles and stone cairns. Stone circles, which were built during the last 1500 years, are widely distributed over much of Namibia and parts of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Current interpretations suggest that after the introduction of livestock 2300 years ago, hunter-gatherers who became herders built stone circle settlements. However, our results based on the faunal remains indicate that Kuidas Spring was exploited as a hunting resource, and whether or not herders with (or without their) livestock occupied or visited the site remains unconfirmed. We also found that gemsbok made use of stone circles at Kuidas Spring when these features were not inhabited and show how such activity might impact the interpretation of archaeological material.


Stone circle Namibia Later Stone Age Livestock Pastoralism 


Nous présentons les résultats d’analyses fauniques issus du site récemment fouillé de Kuidas Spring situé dans le Nord-Ouest de la Namibie. Le site comprend des abris sous-roches, des cercles de pierre et des cairns de pierre. Les cercles de pierre, qui ont été construit au cours des 1 500 dernières années, sont largement présents dans toute la Namibie et dans une partie de la Province de Northern Cape en Afrique du Sud. Les interprétations actuelles suggèrent qu’après l’introduction de l’élevage il y a 2 300 ans, les chasseurs-cueilleurs devenus éleveurs auraient construits ces cercles. Cependant, nos résultats basés sur les restes fauniques indiquent que Kuidas Spring était exploité comme un site de chasse, et l’hypothèse selon laquelle les éleveurs avec (ou sans) leur bétail auraient occupé ou visité le site, reste à confirmer. Nous avons également constaté que les oryx auraient occupé les cercles de pierre de Kuidas Spring quand ceux-ci n’étaient pas habités, et nous expliquerons dans quelle mesure une telle occupation pourrait avoir des conséquences sur l’interprétation du matériel archéologique.



SB would like to thank the National Research Foundation of South Africa (African Origins Platform) and the University of the Witwatersrand for funding. Sandra Naudé from the Ditsong: National Cultural History Museum edited an earlier version of the manuscript, which is gratefully acknowledged. The 2013 excavations and dating of charcoal samples were mostly funded by the National Research Foundation of South Africa through an African Origins Platform grant awarded to ML.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaw Badenhorst
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anzel Veldman
    • 3
  • Marlize Lombard
    • 3
  1. 1.Archaeozoology and Large Mammal Section, Vertebrate DepartmentDitsong National Museum of Natural History (formerly Transvaal Museum)PretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Anthropology and ArchaeologyUniversity of South Africa, UNISAPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Anthropology and Development StudiesUniversity of JohannesburgAuckland ParkSouth Africa

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