Visiting Scholar from the University of Toronto, Canada
Ms. Hopper measuring the internal diameter of an ostrich eggshell bead.
Courtneay Hopper, a doctoral candidate from the University of Toronto, is currently working at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum documenting ostrich eggshell beads from several Later Stone Age and Iron Age sites in the museum’s collections. Each bead is measured and suitable beads are selected to be sent off for isotopic analysis. This work will be used to look at interaction and social networks in the past.
Ms. Hopper’s PhD studies focus on understanding the social shifts related to long-standing interactions between hunter-gatherers and herders. Currently, she works in the Namaqualand Coastal Desert of northwestern South Africa where these social and economic interactions have left a particularly complex archaeological picture. To better understand how these interactions can be interpreted in the archaeological record, she combines biochemical (stable isotopes, organic residue, ZooMS), zooarchaeological, and ethnohistoric analyses.