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The culture occurs in various sites around mainly South Africa but also Namibia and Zimbabwe.Artifacts from it were first described in 1927 by Rev. Stapleton, a Jesuit schoolteacher at St Aidan's College and John Hewitt a zoologist and the director of the local Albany museum.After this and until the mid-1970s, Howieson’s Poort industry was taken to be a variety of Magosian and so intermediate in time and technology between the Middle Stone Age and Late Stone Age.
Meanwhile, Harper's study at Rose Cottage contain a confusion concerning the backed pieces and laterally crested blades Howiesons Poort tools seem not to differ greatly in shape from those of the Late Stone Age lithic tools such as those manufactured by Wilton culture though they tend to be larger but somewhat smaller than the typical flake and blade tools elsewhere in the Middle Stone Age.
It has been noted that “Not only was ochre collected and returned to the site but there is evidence in the ochre 'pencils' with ground facets that it was powdered for use.
Ochre may have had many uses but the possibility that it was used as a body paint, and therefore had served a symbolic purpose” Howiesons Poort culture did not survive and this has raised questions as to why.
For example, Lyn Wadley has noted that “if the Howiesons Poort backed blade production was an important marker of modern human behaviour it is difficult to explain why it should have lasted for more than 20,000 years and then have been replaced by ‘pre-modern’ technology?
” It has been suggested that backed blades played a role in gift exchanges of hunting equipment, and this ceased with culture changes that stopped this exchange and so the need for their manufacture.
This idea is supported by evidence that the long-distance transport of non-local raw materials (which such gift culture would have encouraged) is reduced after the Howiesons Poort period.Although the Howiesons Poort occurred during a period of climatic warming, this was also the case for the late and final MSA occupations at Sibudu.These blades are sometimes called segments, crescents, lunates or microliths are the type fossils for identifying a technology as Howiesons Poort.Blades from the Howiesons Poort assemblages were produced by soft hammer percussion on marginal platforms and the backed tools of this industry subsequently fashioned from these flakes.Sarah Wurz's study shows that the general assemblage, frequency of retouch pieces, and the variability in formal tool morphologies still need to be looked into further.Meanwhile, Harper's study at Rose Cottage contain a confusion concerning the backed pieces and laterally crested blades Sarah Wurz's study shows that the general assemblage, frequency of retouch pieces, and the variability in formal tool morphologies still need to be looked into further.