A Riet River burial from Koffiefontein, South Africa.

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In October 1997 a human burial was rescued from an erosional context next to the Riet River on the farm Poortjie, Koffiefontein District, Free State Province, South Africa. The stone-lined and capped grave housed an adult female buried in a vertically flexed position. An undecorated miniature pottery bowl and three cowrie shells were recovered as associated grave goods. The Poortjie burial is 14C determined to 250 ± 45 BP and it is the sixth of 87 excavated Riet River burials to be dated. The burial is located 42,5 m from a Type R stone-walled settlement and 310 m from two rock-engravings and a gong rock. The Poortjie burial is described with reference to the identity of Riet River burials and the authorship of Type R settlements. The ethics of excavating human remains, even in such ‘rescue’ contexts, is also considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages13
JournalSouthern African Field Archaeology
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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