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FIRST CHRONO-CULTURAL REFERENCE FRAMEWORK FOR THE WEST AFRICAN PALEOLITHIC: NEW DATA FROM OUNJOUGOU, DOGON COUNTRY, MALI

FIRST CHRONO-CULTURAL REFERENCE FRAMEWORK FOR THE WEST AFRICAN PALEOLITHIC: NEW DATA FROM... Evidences of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic human settlements in sub-Saharan West Africa are relatively uncommon, poorly or not even dated, and come from surface sites or secondary stratigraphic context. The discovery, within the international research programme “Palaeoenvironment and human settlement in West Africa”, of an impressive Pleistocene sedimentary sequence with numerous archaeological levels in the sector of Ounjougou (Dogon Country, Mali), is thus of great importance, insofar as it allows us to set up a first chrono-cultural reference framework for the West African Palaeolithic. Although the exact chronological position of a Lower Palaeolithic human settlement has yet to be specified, the recurrent Middle Palaeolithic occupation, between the end of marine isotope stage 5 and the beginning of stage 2, reveals an astonishing cultural diversity. This could indicate an important repopulating activity, following climatic and environmental changes during the Upper Pleistocene. Particularly, the appearance of the Levallois reduction technique in Sahelian West Africa, possibly prior to the emergence of the Saharan Aterian, leads us to reconsider the question of the origin of this reduction concept introduction in sub-Saharan West Africa. More generally, the Palaeolithic sequence in the sector of Ounjougou shows the intrusion of more southern and/or eastern cultural influences. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

FIRST CHRONO-CULTURAL REFERENCE FRAMEWORK FOR THE WEST AFRICAN PALEOLITHIC: NEW DATA FROM OUNJOUGOU, DOGON COUNTRY, MALI

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2003 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/1612-1651-10007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Evidences of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic human settlements in sub-Saharan West Africa are relatively uncommon, poorly or not even dated, and come from surface sites or secondary stratigraphic context. The discovery, within the international research programme “Palaeoenvironment and human settlement in West Africa”, of an impressive Pleistocene sedimentary sequence with numerous archaeological levels in the sector of Ounjougou (Dogon Country, Mali), is thus of great importance, insofar as it allows us to set up a first chrono-cultural reference framework for the West African Palaeolithic. Although the exact chronological position of a Lower Palaeolithic human settlement has yet to be specified, the recurrent Middle Palaeolithic occupation, between the end of marine isotope stage 5 and the beginning of stage 2, reveals an astonishing cultural diversity. This could indicate an important repopulating activity, following climatic and environmental changes during the Upper Pleistocene. Particularly, the appearance of the Levallois reduction technique in Sahelian West Africa, possibly prior to the emergence of the Saharan Aterian, leads us to reconsider the question of the origin of this reduction concept introduction in sub-Saharan West Africa. More generally, the Palaeolithic sequence in the sector of Ounjougou shows the intrusion of more southern and/or eastern cultural influences.

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2003

Keywords: West Africa; Middle Palaeolithic; Middle Stone Age; human settlement; Levallois technique

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