Ntshekane is an Early Iron Age site in central KwaZulu-Natal, first excavated by Tim Maggs in 1973. It was heavily eroded then and still is today, with many new features exposed. We returned to the site in 2009 and since then have mapped all exposed features and excavated some of them.
Our species emerged in Africa around 200 thousand years ago but archaeological records suggest that culturally modern humans, those possessing toolkits on a par with modern hunter-gatherers, only emerged between 100 and 70 thousand years ago in southern Africa.
Small mammals such as mice, shrews and rats are effective palaeoenvironmental indicators of past climates because they have small home ranges, do not migrate, and, in some cases, have specific habitat requirements.