Prehistory in the Central Namib Desert

Prehistory in the Central Namib Desert also matches environmental questions of today.
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Title: Prehistory in the Central Namib Desert
Author: Beatrice H. Sandelowsky
Genre: History, Archaelogy
Publisher: Dr. B. H. Sandelowsky
Windhoek, Namibia 2013
ISBN 9789994572359 / ISBN 978-99945-72-35-9
15 x 21 cm, 92 pages, several colour photographs


Prehistory in the Central Namib Desert is based on a field report which was written in 1978. Then it was meant to be a follow-up to 'Mirabib - an archaeological study in the Namib' which had been published in MADOQUA, the Journal of Nature Conservation and Desert Research in South West Africa in 1977. But the follow-up report was not accepted for publication nor was it submitted to any other publisher. Since Namibian Independence in 1990 tourism and mining activities have drawn ever more attention to the central Namib Desert. This led Joh Henschel, as Director of Gobabeb in 2009, to suggest publishing the interesting and original information contained in this work. A list of plant remains relating to the archaeo-botany section of the paper was submitted to Coleen Mannheimer (Associate Researcher at the Namibian Botanical Research Institute) because it could have been outdated. But apart from a few changes to species names she felt that the list would still be valid for the area around Mirabib.

It is hoped that the account reflecting some history of this sub-discipline will lead to further developments in this otherwise neglected field. GPS (Global Positioning System) data for most of the sites only became available in more recent times enabling Terry Hardaker to compile a map of the area. Similarly an analysis of the owl pellet remains found at Hennops Cave, which became available after the original draft of this paper had been written, has been added to this edition. The specialist reports by Dr Hertha de Villiers on the human skeletal remains and the description of Hennops Cave by Dr Justin Wilkinson have also not been published before and add value to this publication. In her entertaining book 'Archaeologically yours, Beatrice Sandelowsky', she mentions a few aspects of the work here described in scholarly form. The reader will receive a thorough introduction to the central Namib by reading both texts!

Content: Prehistory in the Central Namib Desert

Foreword by Dr Joh. Henschel
Early and Middle Stone Age sites
Sites relating to Mirabib
Stone structures indicating herding
Settlement sites
Oral tradition
Archaeo-botany at Mirabib
Appendix I Hennops Cave (Justin Wilkinson)
Appendix II Microfaunal Remains from Hennops Cave (Virginia Brain)
Appendix III Report on Human Skeletal Remains (Hertha de Villiers)