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EARLY SAN SPIRITUALITY - EVIDENCE FROM THE HOWIESON'S POORT INDUSTRY: A NOTE TO J. PARKINGTON'S REVIEW OF SAN SPIRITUALITY

EARLY SAN SPIRITUALITY - EVIDENCE FROM THE HOWIESON'S POORT INDUSTRY: A NOTE TO J. PARKINGTON'S... J. David Lewis-Williams I am grateful to John PARKINGTON (2005) for his favourable review of San Spirituality: Roots, Expressions, and Social Consequences. He rightly sees the book as an attempt to move beyond a tight focus on San rock art and its role in the communities that made it. It tries to embrace, on the one hand, evidence for `spirituality' in times before it seems legitimate to speak of `San communities' and, on the other, much later evidence for what has become of that `spirituality' in present-day southern Africa. Here I offer clarification on two of the points he raises. First, it should be noted that I and my co-author's remarks about the Howieson's Poort (HP) Industry (a phase within the southern African Middle Stone Age) constitute only a small and somewhat speculative part of our overall argument. Parkington has himself published highly significant evidence for symbolism in this early period (PARKINGTON et al. 2005). He is, however, not convinced by our account. He writes: `Lewis-Williams & Pearce appear to believe that these assemblages are dominated by shiny quartz, and [they] develop a model of shamanistic exploitation of such a quality.' (We cite neurological evidence as well as http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

EARLY SAN SPIRITUALITY - EVIDENCE FROM THE HOWIESON'S POORT INDUSTRY: A NOTE TO J. PARKINGTON'S REVIEW OF SAN SPIRITUALITY

Journal of African Archaeology , Volume 4 (2): 349 – Oct 25, 2006

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2006 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/1612-1651-10079
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

J. David Lewis-Williams I am grateful to John PARKINGTON (2005) for his favourable review of San Spirituality: Roots, Expressions, and Social Consequences. He rightly sees the book as an attempt to move beyond a tight focus on San rock art and its role in the communities that made it. It tries to embrace, on the one hand, evidence for `spirituality' in times before it seems legitimate to speak of `San communities' and, on the other, much later evidence for what has become of that `spirituality' in present-day southern Africa. Here I offer clarification on two of the points he raises. First, it should be noted that I and my co-author's remarks about the Howieson's Poort (HP) Industry (a phase within the southern African Middle Stone Age) constitute only a small and somewhat speculative part of our overall argument. Parkington has himself published highly significant evidence for symbolism in this early period (PARKINGTON et al. 2005). He is, however, not convinced by our account. He writes: `Lewis-Williams & Pearce appear to believe that these assemblages are dominated by shiny quartz, and [they] develop a model of shamanistic exploitation of such a quality.' (We cite neurological evidence as well as

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2006

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