Although the lack of Late Quaternary pollen, phytolith and charcoal records for southern Africa has been bemoaned by many, there are a surprising number of publications by a relatively small group of researchers. Previous comprehensive reviews covered the research up to 2016 and 2018 so this paper only considers a selection of more recent studies, with a focus on the three types of botanical remains (pollen, phytoliths, micro- and macro-charcoal). The newer works use the traditional approaches of identification of vegetation and the use of modern analogues to reconstruct past climate and relate the results to other works and proxies. Sibudu Cave, with its long record and multi-proxy record is presented as a case study because the vegetation, climate and human behaviour are well integrated together. A more recent and general trend to provide emphasis on identifying climate driving forces and re-interpretation of data have a tendency to obscure the original sound research.

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