A Window into the Early–Middle Stone Age Transition in Northeastern Africa—A Marine Isotope Stage 7a/6 Late Acheulean Horizon from the EDAR 135 Site, Eastern Sahara (Sudan)
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Field Archaeology. 2021, 46 (8), 513-533. 10.1080/00934690.2021.1993618
This paper presents the results of the analysis of a late Acheulean horizon from the EDAR 135 site, which was discovered in the Eastern Desert, Sudan, in an area heavily transformed by modern mining activity. A lithic assemblage was discovered there, within a layer of gravel sediments formed by a paleostream in a humid period of the Middle Pleistocene. This layer is OSL dated between 220 ± 12 and 145 ± 20 ka (MIS 7a/6). These dates indicate that the assemblage could be the youngest trace of the Acheulean in northeastern Africa. Technological analysis of the lithics reveals different core reduction strategies, including not only ad hoc ones based on multiplatform cores, but also discoidal and prepared cores. The use of prepared core reduction methods has already been confirmed at other Late Acheulean sites in Africa and the Middle East. Microwear traces observed on lithic artifacts could relate to on-site butchering activities.