The Middle and Late Stone Age of south-eastern Ethiopia

SÉMINAIRE / SEMINAR

Evolution: an international research seminar in eastern Africa.
Paleobiodiversity, paleobiology, prehistory, paleoenvironments

(2015-2016)

2ème séance / 2nd session: The Middle and Late Stone Age of south-eastern Ethiopia: new data from Porc-Epic and Goda Buticha cave sites, par/by Alice LEPLONGEON (Mare-Curie postdoctoral fellow at McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge/Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, département de préhistoire)

Vendredi 19 février 2016 (16-17h30) / Friday 19 February 2016 (4:00 PM-5:30 PM). Lieu / Venue: Auditorium of the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage

Organisation: CFEE & Authority for Research and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage (Heritage Collection & Laboratory Service Directorate, Heritage Training Unit).

The Middle and Late Stone Age of south-eastern Ethiopia: new data from Porc-Epic and Goda Buticha cave sites, par/by Alice LEPLONGEON

This research aims to investigate and characterise the Middle Stone Age (MSA) and Late Stone Age (LSA) of south-eastern Ethiopia through the comparative study of stone tool (lithic) assemblages from two main sites: Porc-Epic and Goda Buticha, located near Dire-Dawa. The two caves are 35 km apart and both have yielded long stratigraphical sequences dated from the Late Pleistocene (at least circa 70,000 years ago) until the late Holocene (circa 2,000 years ago). Materials found from both sites are composed of faunal and human remains, ostrich eggshell beads, and rich lithic assemblages showing both MSA and LSA affinities. Following previous studies of the lithic assemblages of the sites, the methodology applied here relies on unpublished material from Porc-Epic and a detailed analysis of the assemblages from Buticha. It focuses on the features generally stressed to define either the MSA or the LSA (i.e. blade vs Levallois/flake production, retouched points vs microliths, relative frequency of obsidian). This study highlights the presence of both MSA and LSA technical elements in the whole sequence (Upper Pleistocene and Holocene layers), particularly within one mid-Holocene level at Goda Buticha. These elements allow discussing the definitions of the MSA and LSA in this region. In addition, the characterisation of these assemblages from south-eastern Ethiopia make comparisons with adjacent regions possible. This will help to better understand human interactions in a wider area, particularly at the key-period that follows the main “out of Africa and into Eurasia” dispersal of modern humans.

L’intervenante / The speaker

Alice Leplongeon, préhistorienne, est chercheuse post-doctorale au McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research de l’Université de Cambridge, Royaume-Uni, associée au département de préhistoire du Muséum national d’histoire naturelle de Paris / Alice Leplongeon, a prehistorian, is a postdoctoral fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and an associate researcher at the Prehistory Department of the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, Paris.

Organisateurs du séminaire / Convenors of the seminar series: Behailu Habte (ARCCH), Jean-Renaud Boisserie (CNRS, CFEE) & Yonas Beyene (associate researcher at CFEE, ARCC-Hawassa).

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