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Did Middle Stone Age Khargan Peoples Leave Structural Features? ‘Site J’, The Forgotten Settlement of the ‘Empty Desert’, Kharga Oasis, Egypt: 1933 and 2011

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G. Caton-Thompson and E. W. Gardner designated new Pleistocene cultural units at Kharga Oasis in the 1930’s: both were originally termed ‘pre-Sebilian’, but were later locally named the ‘Levalloiso-Khargan’ and ‘Khargan’ industries. High on the Bulaq scarp face, a puzzling cluster of stone ‘alignments’ was discovered in 1931–32, with a reported, but discounted, association with ‘Levalloiso-Khargan’ artefacts. Gardner excavated some features in 1933. Members of the Kharga Oasis Prehistory Project relocated ‘Site J’ in January 2011, and verified the reported Khargan associations with the features. In 2008, the project found structural features associated with Khargan artefacts in the northern Gebel Yebsa survey area, confirming earlier finds in the southern oases of Kurkur and Dungul. Evidence there, and that found in Kharga and Dakhleh oases, is now designated as the Khargan Complex. The associated built stone features of the included cultural units appear to be unique in Late Pleistocene Africa, especially at Bulaq.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary ; 2: Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto at Scarborough ; 3: Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto at Mississauga ; 4: Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University ; 5: Turkana Basin Institute and Department of Anthropology, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Stony Brook University ; 6: AECOM, 5925 Carnegie Boulevard ; 7: Department of Chemistry, Williams College ; 8: Department of Chemistry, Williams College


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