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A cave in the Matopo Hills of southwestern Zimbabwe, where excavations have revealed a long sequence of occupations probably covering most of the past 50,000 years. The cave walls also bear an interesting series of rock paintings. The site has given its name to a stone industry and a pottery type which should not be confused as they belong to widely separated periods. The Bambata industry, also referred to in some older works as ‘Stillbay’ is based upon the use of prepared cores to produce flakes that were retouched into a veriety of scrapers and unifacial or bifacial points. Dated between the 50th and 20th millennia be, its distribution extends northwards into Zambia and southwards to the Orange Free State and perhaps the Cape. Bambata ware is known only from contexts of the 1st millennium ad in Zimbabwe. It is elaborately decorated with overall stamped designs, and opinion is divided as to whether it should be attributed to the Early Iron Age complex or to a late hunter-gatherer population.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied