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Late Pleistocene and Holocene Lithic Variability at Goda Buticha (Southeastern Ethiopia): Implications for the Understanding of the Middle and Late Stone Age of the Horn of Africa

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The Late Pleistocene is a key period to understand the shift from the Middle (MSA) to the Late Stone Age (LSA) in Africa. More generally, it is also a crucial time for elucidation of changes in the technological behaviours of human populations in Africa after the main Out of Africa event of modern humans ca. 60-50 thousand years ago. However, the archaeological record for this period is relatively poor, particularly for the Horn of Africa. Here we present a detailed analysis of the lithic assemblages from Goda Buticha (GB), a cave in southeastern Ethiopia, which has yielded a long stratigraphic sequence including Late Pleistocene and Holocene levels. This study (1) contributes to a better knowledge of the late MSA in the Horn of Africa; (2) documents a late Holocene LSA level (GB – Complex I); (3) highlights the presence of MSA characteristics associated with LSA features in the Holocene (GB – Layer IIc). This adds to the emerging record of great lithic technological variability during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in this region.Le Pléistocène récent est une période clé pour comprendre le changement du Middle (MSA) vers le Late Stone Age (LSA) en Afrique. Plus généralement, c’est une période-clé pour comprendre les changements dans les comportements techniques des populations humaines en Afrique, après l’épisode principal Out of Africa des Hommes modernes, ca 60-50 ka. Cependant, les données archéologiques pour cette période sont relativement rares, particulièrement pour la Corne de l’Afrique. Nous présentons ici une analyse détaillée des assemblages lithiques de la grotte de Goda Buticha (GB), située près de Dire-Dawa, en Ethiopie, et qui a livré une longue séquence stratigraphique incluant des niveaux datés du Pléistocène récent et de l’Holocène. Cette étude (1) contribue à une meilleure connaissance du MSA récent de la Corne de l’Afrique; (2) décrit un niveau LSA de l’Holocène récent (GB – complexe I); (3) souligne la présence de caractéristiques MSA associées à des traits LSA très tard dans l’Holocène (GB – couche IIc). Ces nouvelles données attestent de la grande variabilité technique au Pléistocène récent et à l’Holocène dans cette région.This article is in English.

Affiliations: 1: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research Downing Street, CB2 3ER CambridgeUKUMR CNRS 7194, Département Homme et Environnement, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle – Université de Perpignan Via Domitia – Sorbonne Universités, Institut de Paléontologie Humaine, 1 rue René Panhard 75013 ParisFrance ; 2: Corresponding author ; 3: UMR CNRS 7194, Département Homme et Environnement, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle – Université de Perpignan Via Domitia – Sorbonne Universités, Institut de Paléontologie Humaine, 1 rue René Panhard 75013 ParisFrance ; 4: Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Mt Scopus, Jerusalem 91905IsraelInstitute of Human Origins, Arizona State UniversityUSA


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