oa Annals of the Natal Museum - Pleistocene beaches of Natal

Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0304-0798



In the absence of fauna, rolled artefacts are the only usable zone-fossils for tracing and dating pleisto­cene shorelines in Natal. A shoreline at 60 m, with upwarp between Durban and River Mtamvuna, has been traced by its yield of the most primitive hand-axes; it can be followed from northern Zululand into the Ciskei. It is probably contemporary with the Cromer interglacial. Four higher shorelines, with increasing upwarp, have been tentatively traced at 155 m, 110 m, 82 m and 73 m; the artefacts that their gravels contain are pebble-tools, not diagnostic to distinguish chronological development. Below the 60-metre shoreline there are others at 48 m, possibly 38 m, 30 m, 18 m, 9 m, 6 m and two holocene levels about 3·5 and 1·5 m M.S.L. The 30-metre beach is very slightly upwarped, those lower are not. Down to the 9-metre beach they yield occasional hand-axes, not enough to distinguish one level from another. The 9-metre shoreline almost certainly belongs to the Eem interglacial. Associated with the 6-metre level are probably post-Acheulian artefacts. Isotopic dates and geological evidence from the southern and low latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere associate this shoreline with the Paudorf interstadial. The holocene levels have not in Natal yielded datable material, and may be dated only by comparison with other lands.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error