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Joseph Chikumbirike

Joseph Chikumbirike
Sol Plaatje University, Northern Cape, South Africa · Northern Cape


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Publications (5)
This paper presents the first insight into the interpretation of the wood charcoal from the Holocene layers of Wonderwerk Cave. Situated in the Northern Cape Province in the arid interior of South Africa, the site provides a unique and valuable chronological record of past environmental fluctuations and responding human behavioural adaptations span...
Charcoal was the fuel universally employed in smelting and forging metals. Special hardwoods with high caloric content were employed in most African prehistoric metallurgical industries. We focus on the charcoal recovered from Chigaramboni archaeo-metallurgical sites to identify the wood-fuel choices made by the precolonial industrialist workers at...
This chapter presents a functional analysis of stone artefacts from Redcliff Cave near the town of Kwekwe in Central Zimbabwe. The study employs microscopic use-wear and residue analysis methods to explore the possible function of stone artefacts from the site. The main indication from the study is that the studied materials were potentially used f...
Once a thriving center with commercial links to the Indian Ocean, what remains of Great Zimbabwe is its monumental architecture. Its rise and decline have long been linked to environmental changes in southern Zimbabwe, beginning in the second half of the 13th century with agropastoralists thriving in the region's well-watered granite hills and vall...
Full-text available
In most of Africa, archaeological charcoal samples are often used to establish chronology through radiocarbon dating, but are rarely used to address why people may have selected specific wood taxa for particular purposes. The use of charcoal in palaeo-ethnobotanical and palaeoecological studies has been given little attention, but it can be used fo...


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Project (1)
Archived project
This study will examine charcoal samples from Holocene Strata 4 through 1 from Excavation 1 at Wonderwerk Cave using microscopic analysis of anatomical structure. A modern comparative collection will first be established for the region to help with identification of paleo-specimens to species level where possible. Through examination of the LSA charcoals it is hoped to reconstruct the palaeovegetation and reveal the impact of environmental changes on the woody environment around the cave. The charcoal analysis will also contribute to our knowledge of woody plants collected and used by past people for different purposes throughout the LSA. The study also hopes to answer questions on whether wood was collected locally or from long distances, so shedding light on past human behavior. We will compare the results and determine whether wood utilized at Wonderwerk was the same throughout the periods of cave occupation, from the ESA to LSA.