Herding was introduced to South Africa about 2000BP (Henshilwood 1995:153), and interaction between the immigrant herders and the local hunter-gatherers is expected have occurred. What form would this interaction take? It has been argued to have been everything from hostile to amicable. Despite ongoing research on interaction, the results remain inconclusive. Part of the problem seem to be the lack of undisputable criteria for determining the identity of the inhabitants, and criteria for determining the nature of interaction, and how this would be manifested in the archaeological record. Another problem is that all research on this aspect of the debate, to date, has applied the same methodology based on typology and quantification. As a result, the main focus of this study was to create a list of possible criteria to assist in determining the nature of interaction between the herders and the hunter-gatherers and to then test these criteria on an assemblage dated to the period in question; using a new approach, the chaîne opératoire. Blombos Cave, situated on the Southern Cape coast of South Africa, was chosen as the material basis of this study due to its well documented Later Stone Age assemblage. Based on the selected criteria of the nature of interaction, it was concluded that the assemblage from Blombos Cave indicates that the interaction between the herders and the hunter-gatherers was characterized by stress. Restricted access is one of the criteria that offer evidence supporting the notion of stress at Blombos Cave; with the behaviour patterns, such as scavenging of antique tools, as a site-specific indicator of stress.