Quartz crystal materiality in Terminal Pleistocene Lesotho

Justin Pargeter, Jamie Hampson

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    The motivations of prehistoric hunter-gatherers for selecting particular lithic raw materials are often explained in rigidly functional or symbolic terms. By examining the exploitation of crystal quartz at two Terminal Pleistocene rockshelter sites (Ntloana Tšoana and Sehonghong) in Lesotho, southern Africa, the authors reveal that lithic reduction required a form of engagement unique to that material's specific properties. The preferential use of quartz crystals - irrespective of the availability of a wider range of raw materials - demonstrates agency and variability in the technological decisions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)11-27
    Number of pages17
    Issue number367
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


    • Lesotho
    • Terminal Pleistocene
    • ethnohistory
    • materiality
    • quartz crystal

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Archaeology
    • General Arts and Humanities


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