oa Annals of the Natal Museum - Preliminary report on the faunal assemblage from Ndondondwane, Natal

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0304-0798



Faunal material from the 1978 excavations at Ndondondwane Early Iron Age site reveals a major dependence upon domestic animals for subsistence. Sheep remains outnumber those of goats, while small stock outnumber cattle. Unusual features of the collection are the very large numbers of bones of domestic dogs, several specimens of Rattus rattus and evidence for the presence of nyala far south of its present distribution. The site also yielded the first evidence for domestic chicken in an early context. The large number of hippopotamus bones suggests hunting or scavenging of these animals. Apart from a number of bone tools and ornaments, the assemblage included portions of at least twenty-three ivory armbands and over a thousand pieces of waste ivory. These preliminary results indicate the tremendous potential of this unusual site.

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