Foragers occupying Dzombo Shelter, eastern Botswana, and producing a Later Stone Age technology came into
contact with incoming Iron Age food-producers at approximately AD 350. From the onset of their interactions
the Later Stone Age record began to change. One such change was in stone tool preference; over much of southern
Africa scraper frequencies increasedwhereas backed tools declined. However, between c. AD 900 and 1200 at
Dzombo, backed tools inexplicably dominate the formal tool assemblage. This paper seeks to understand the role
of backed tools at Dzombo frombefore the arrival of farmers until the establishment of the Mapungubwe state, c.
AD 1220, in order to explain shifts in use and preference patterns. By performing a macro-fracture analysis itwas
possible to demonstrate an increased occurrence of fractures consistent with impact-related damage between
approximately AD 350 and 1200, and it is suggested here that during this time hunting activitieswere intensified.
The factors possibly driving this intensification are discussed and could relate to forager–farmer interactions or a
shift in the site's function. As is shown, the former is more likely. The macro-analysis of backed tools provides
greater clarity when viewing Dzombo's archaeological sequence and to some extent confirms earlier suggestions
that in order to augment growing mercantile opportunities spurred on by the arrival of farmers, forager hunting