Wilton culture

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The Wilton culture is the name given by archaeologists to an archaeological culture which was common to parts of south and east Africa around six thousand years ago, during the Stone Age period. The culture is characterized by a greater number of tool types, distinguishing it from its predecessors.[1]

It was first described by John Hewitt after he excavated with the collaboration of C. W. Wilmot a cave on the farm Wilton.[2]


Occupation sites include that at Kalambo Falls and the valley of Twyfelfontein.[3] Additionally, a partially preserved camp dating to 2300 BC was found in Gwisho, near the Kafue River.[1]


Its tools are broadly analogous to the European mesolithic Microliths, which are a common artefact type. Later examples of the culture however indicate usage of iron. There are sites in southern Africa which exhibit evidence of rock art by the Wilton people.[1]


Tools developed in Gwisho were more sophisticated than those of its predecessors. The Wilton people in Gwisho developed a bone industry, which produced items such as awls, ornaments and composite arrows. They also constructed and utilized wooden tools to uproot edible roots, which was a staple in their diet.[1][4] Most of their food supply came from harvesting edible matter.[4]

It is speculated by anthropologists that all the people of Gwisho belonged to a single 'kinship group', a group of which all members are related to one another by ancestry or various alternative ways.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Curtin, Philip; Feierman, Steven; Thompson, Leonard; Vansina, Jan. African History: From Earliest Times to Independence (print) (Second ed.). Pearson. p. 2. 
  2. ^ Hewitt J. (1921). On several implements and ornaments from Strandloper sites in the Eastern Province. S. Afr. J. Sci. 18: 454-467
  3. ^ "Twyfelfontein". Tourbrief.com. Retrieved 3 Aug 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c African History: From Earliest Times to Independence (print), p. 3