I have conducted a large number of heritage impact assessments for a wide range of project types throughout the western half of South Africa during the course of an eleven year professional career. Prior to that I served an internship of five years to build experience. In recent years there has been an emphasis on renewable energy developments in the arid interior of the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape provinces.
I have also engaged in academic research in the region with a focus on understanding the Later Stone Age archaeology of Namaqualand and the Eland’s Bay area, and in particular the introduction of herding to the region. This research has often been related to commercial work but has also emanated from three post-graduate degrees concerning west coast archaeology. I have authored or co-authored more than thirty peer-reviewed articles and two book chapters on this research.
Halkett, D., Hart, T., Yates, R., Volman, T.P., Parkington, J., Orton, J., Klein, R.G., Cruz-Uribe, K. & Avery, G. 2003. First excavation of intact Middle Stone Age layers at Ysterfontein, Western Cape Province, South Africa: implications for Middle Stone Age ecology. Journal of Archaeological Science 30: 955-971.
Dewar, G., Halkett, D., Hart, T., Orton, J. and Sealy, J. 2006. Implications of a mass kill site of springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) in South Africa: hunting practices, gender relations and sharing in the Later Stone Age. Journal of Archaeological Science 33: 1266-1275.
Orton, J. 2007. Excavations at four sites near Jakkalsberg in the Richtersveld. The Digging Stick 24(1): 9-13.
Orton, J. & Halkett, D. 2007. Excavations at Noetzie Midden: an open site on the Cape south coast. The Digging Stick 24 (3): 5-7.
Orton, J. 2008. A useful measure of the desirability of different raw materials for retouch within and between assemblages: the raw material retouch index (RMRI). Journal of Archaeological Science 35: 1090-1094.
Orton, J. & Mackay, A. 2008. New excavations at Klein Kliphuis rock shelter, Cederberg Mountains, Western Cape, South Africa: the late Holocene deposits. South African Archaeological Bulletin 63: 69-76.
Avery, G., Halkett, D., Orton, J., Steele, T. & Klein, R. 2008. The Ysterfontein 1 Middle Stone Age Rockshelter and the evolution of coastal foraging. South African Archaeological Society Goodwin Series 10: 66-89.
Challis, S., Mitchell, P. & Orton, J. 2008. Fishing in the Rain: control of rain-making and aquatic resources at a previously undescribed rock art site in highland Lesotho. Journal of African Archaeology 6: 203-218.
Orton, J. & Halkett, D. 2010. Stone tools, beads and a river: two Holocene microlithic sites at Jakkalsberg in the northwestern Richtersveld, Northern Cape. South African Archaeological Bulletin 65: 13-25.
Mackay, A., Orton, J., Schwortz, S. & Steele, T. 2010. Soutfontein (SFT)-001: preliminary report on an open-air site rich in bifacial points, southern Namaqualand, South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin 65: 84-95.
Orton, J., Klein, R.G., Mackay, A. Schwortz, S. & Steele, T.E. 2011. Two Holocene rock shelter deposits from the Knersvlakte, southern Namaqualand, South Africa. Southern African Humanities 23: 109-150.
Orton, J., Jerardino, A. & Halkett, D. 2012. On limpets, their height and how to get them on the plate: a response to Gareth Angelbeck. The Digging Stick 29(1): 13-14.
Orton, J. 2012. Rheboksfontein 1. Do we have Khoekhoen in the Darling Hills? The Digging Stick 29(2): 10-12.
Orton, J., Mitchell, P., Klein, R. & Steele, T. & Horsburgh, A. 2013. An early date for cattle from Namaqualand, South Africa: implications for the origins of herding in southern Africa. Antiquity 87: 108-120.
Orton, J. 2013. MBS164: observations from the Melkbosstrand shoreline, Table Bay. The Digging Stick 30(1): 9-12.
Orton, J. 2013. Late Holocene archaeology in Namaqualand, South Africa: hunter-gatherers and herders in a semi-arid environment. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 48: 149-150. [thesis abstract]
Jerardino, A., Klein, R.G., Navarro, R., Orton, J. & Horwitz, L. 2013. Settlement and subsistence patterns since the terminal Pleistocene in the Elands Bay and Lamberts Bay areas. In: Jerardino, A., Malan, A. & Braun, D. (eds) The Archaeology of the West Coast of South Africa: 85-108. Oxford: BAR International Series 2526.
Dewar, G. & Orton, J. 2013. Subsistence, settlement and material culture on the central Namaqualand coastline. In: Jerardino, A., Malan, A. & Braun, D. (eds) The Archaeology of the West Coast of South Africa: 109-123. Oxford: BAR International Series 2526.
Orton, J. 2014. The late pre-colonial site of Komkans 2 (KK002) and an evaluation of the evidence for indigenous copper smelting in Namaqualand, southern Africa. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 49: 386-410.
Orton, J. 2014. SALSA: the Holocene technocomplexes, a reply to Lombard and colleagues. South African Archaeological Bulletin 69: 110-112.
Orton, J. 2015. The introduction of pastoralism to southernmost Africa: thoughts on new contributions to an ongoing debate. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa [online version] DOI: 10.1080/0067270X.2015.1019262.
Orton, J., Halkett, D., Hart, T., Patrick, M. & Pfeifer, S. 2015. An unusual pre-colonial burial from Bloubergstrand, Table Bay, South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin 70: 106-112.