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K. Kris Hirst

Megamiddens of South Africa

By October 31, 2012

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On the coasts of South Africa are enormous mussel shell heaps, among the largest in the world, which were amassed over a period of 1200 years.

Closeup of Megamidden at Elands Bay
Closeup of Megamidden at Elands Bay. Photo by John Parkington

A focus of study among archaeologists for some 20 years, these heaps tell us much about living during the Later Stone Age period. Their exact role in Later Stone Age society is hotly debated: symbolic? residential? simply a garbage heap?

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