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  Lithics of the North African Middle Stone Age: assumptions, evidence and future directions

Scerri, E. M. L., & Spinapolica, E. E. (2019). Lithics of the North African Middle Stone Age: assumptions, evidence and future directions. Journal of Anthropological Sciences, 97. doi:10.4436/jass.97002.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-4852-F Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-4853-E
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Scerri, Eleanor M. L.1, 2, Author              
Spinapolica, Enza Elena, Author
Affiliations:
1Lise Meitner Pan-African Evolution Research Group, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_3033582              
2Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, Kahlaische Str. 10, 07745 Jena, DE, ou_2074312              

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Free keywords: North Africa, Middle Stone Age, Lithics, Aterian, Nubian Complex
 Abstract: North Africa features some of the earliest manifestations of the Middle Stone Age (MSA) and fossils of our species, Homo sapiens, as well as early examples of complex culture and the long distance transfer of exotic raw materials. As they are elsewhere, lithics (i.e., stone tools) present by far the most abundant source of information on this cultural period. Given the importance of North Africa in human origins, understanding the character and distribution of MSA lithics is therefore crucial, as they shed light on early human behaviour and culture. However, the lithics of the North African MSA are poorly understood, and their technological variability is frequently obfuscated by regionally specific nomenclatures, often repeated without criticism, and diverse methods of analysis that are often incompatible. Characterising dynamic technological innovations as well as apparent technological stasis remains challenging, and many narratives have not been tested quantitatively. This significantly problematizes hypotheses of human evolution and dispersals invoking these data that extend beyond North Africa. This paper therefore presents a description of the lithics of the North African MSA, including their technological characteristics, chronology, spatial distribution and associated research traditions. A range of interpretations concerning early H. sapiens demography in North Africa are then re-evaluated in the light of this review, and the role and power of lithic data to contribute to such debates is critically assessed.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-07-10
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: 36
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.4436/jass.97002
Other: shh2292
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Title: Journal of Anthropological Sciences
  Other : Rivista di Antropologia
  Abbreviation : JASS
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Rom : Ist. di Antropologia
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 97 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1827-4765
ISSN: 2037-0644
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1827-4765