Sandra Lennox's research while affiliated with University of the Witwatersrand and other places

Publications (6)

Article
In 2015, which marked 35 years since Beaumont had worked at the site, we renewed excavations at Border Cave. Our primary aims were to reassess the stratigraphic context of the sedimentary and cultural sequence, gain insight into site formation processes, make a detailed study of organic remains, identify long term cultural trends, and characterize...
Article
Here we present charcoal identifications for Rose Cottage Cave, Eastern Free State, from layers dated between about 96,000 and 35,000 years ago (∼96 and ∼35 ka ago). We then suggest plant community types that might have been established in the area in warm Marine Isotope Stage 5 (MIS5) versus cooler MIS4/MIS3 phases. The hypothesis is that frost-te...
Article
Early plant use is seldom described in the archaeological record because of poor preservation. We report the discovery of grass bedding used to create comfortable areas for sleeping and working by people who lived in Border Cave at least 200,000 years ago. Sheaves of grass belonging to the broad-leafed Panicoideae subfamily were placed near the bac...
Article
New excavations at Border Cave use high-resolution techniques, including FT-IR, for sediment samples and thin sections of micromorphology blocks from stratigraphy. These show that sediments have different moisture regimes, both spatially and chronologically. The site preserves desiccated grass bedding in multiple layers and they, along with seeds,...
Article
New excavations at Border Cave use high-resolution techniques, including FT-IR, for sediment samples and thin sections of micromorphology blocks from stratigraphy. These show that sediments have different moisture regimes, both spatially and chronologically. The site preserves desiccated grass bedding in multiple layers and they, along with seeds,...

Citations

... In contrast, several MSA sites excavated in the last century were not dated by absolute means, such as Orangia along the Orange River (Sampson, 1968), Kranskraal along the Modder River (van Hoepen, 1932), and the Vlakkraal spring south of Florisbad (Wells et al., 1942). Other sites have produced only a limited spectrum of environmental proxies due to preservation issues, like Rose Cottage Cave in the eastern Free State (Lennox and Wadley, 2022). The latter, located at the foot of the Maloti-Drakensberg range close to the Lesotho border, is the only site in the Free State featuring early MIS 4 occupations (Pienaar et al., 2008;Soriano et al., 2007;Valladas et al., 2005). ...
... Border Cave records all of these lines of evidence in older and younger deposits. With an intermittent Stone Age sequence that spans~227 thousand years ago (ka) to 24 ka Beaumont et al., 1978;Beaumont, 1980;Vogel et al., 1986;Miller and Beaumont, 1989;Miller et al., 1999;Beaumont et al., 1992;Grün and Beaumont, 2001;Bird et al., 2003;Grün et al., 2003;Millard, 2006;d'Errico et al., 2012a;Villa et al., 2012;Backwell et al., 2018), the site has recently added entries to the list of criteria that can be considered as evidence of behavioural complexity: grass and ash bedding construction at~200 ka (Wadley et al., 2020a) and transport and sharing of cooked starchy rhizomes at 170 ka (Wadley et al., 2020b). Our research at the site supplements previous work carried out since 1934 by Dart, Malan, Beaumont and their colleagues. ...
... Geologically and geomorphologically, Border Cave is atypical of other shelters and caves in southern Africa that host Middle Stone Age (MSA)-bearing deposits (Stratford et al., 2021). Geologically, the rock shelter formed in the Lower Jurassic felsic extrusive Jozini Formation (Lebombo Group) (Cooke, 1941;Butzer et al., 1978), generally represented by a variety of igneous rhyolitic facies with interbedded sandstones (Cooke, 1941;Backwell et al., 2018). The development of localised flow-banding, variable igneous lithological textures, volcaniclastic breccias and sandstone/ rhyolite agglomerate beds provide a unique context not only for the formation of the shelter, but also for the processes driving autogenic (internally generated) sedimentation and the resulting clastic/chemical sediment suite accumulating within the site. ...