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  The Middle to Later Stone Age transition at Panga ya Saidi, in the tropical coastal forest of eastern Africa

Shipton, C., Blinkhorn, J., Archer, W., Kourampas, N., Roberts, P., Prendergast, M. E., et al. (2021). The Middle to Later Stone Age transition at Panga ya Saidi, in the tropical coastal forest of eastern Africa. Journal of Human Evolution, 153: 102954, pp. 1-25. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2021.102954.

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 Creators:
Shipton, Ceri, Author
Blinkhorn, James1, Author              
Archer, Will, Author
Kourampas, Nikolaos, Author
Roberts, Patrick2, Author              
Prendergast, Mary E., Author
Curtis, Richard, Author
Herries, Andy I.R., Author
Ndiema, Emmanuel2, Author
Boivin, Nicole2, Author              
Petraglia, Michael D.2, 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, ou_2074312              

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Free keywords: Behavioral evolution, Lithic technology, Late Pleistocene, Early
 Abstract: The Middle to Later Stone Age transition is a critical period of human behavioral change that has been variously argued to pertain to the emergence of modern cognition, substantial population growth, and major dispersals of Homo sapiens within and beyond Africa. However, there is little consensus about when the transition occurred, the geographic patterning of its emergence, or even how it is manifested in the stone tool technology that is used to define it. Here, we examine a long sequence of lithic technological change at the cave site of Panga ya Saidi, Kenya, that spans the Middle and Later Stone Age and includes human occupations in each of the last five Marine Isotope Stages. In addition to the stone artifact technology, Panga ya Saidi preserves osseous and shell artifacts, enabling broader considerations of the covariation between different spheres of material culture. Several environmental proxies contextualize the artifactual record of human behavior at Panga ya Saidi. We compare technological change between the Middle and Later Stone Age with on-site paleoenvironmental manifestations of wider climatic fluctuations in the Late Pleistocene. The principal distinguishing feature of Middle from Later Stone Age technology at Panga ya Saidi is the preference for fine-grained stone, coupled with the creation of small flakes (miniaturization). Our review of the Middle to Later Stone Age transition elsewhere in eastern Africa and across the continent suggests that this broader distinction between the two periods is in fact widespread. We suggest that the Later Stone Age represents new short use-life and multicomponent ways of using stone tools, in which edge sharpness was prioritized over durability.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-03-112021-04
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 25
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: 1. Introduction
1.1. Identifying the MSA-LSA technological transition in eastern Africa
1.2. Site and environment
2. Materials and methods
3. Results
3.1. Local stone sources
3.2. Lithic materials, frequency, and size
3.3. Core reduction
3.4. Flakes
3.5. Retouched flakes
4. Discussion
4.1. The Panga ya Saidi lithic sequence in context
4.2. Overview of the Panga ya Saidi sequence
4.3. The MSA-LSA lithic transition in eastern Africa and beyond
5. Conclusions
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2021.102954
Other: shh2890
 Degree: -

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Project name : Sealink
Grant ID : 206148
Funding program : Horizon 2020 (H2020)
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)

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Title: Journal of Human Evolution
  Other : J. Hum. Evol.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 153 Sequence Number: 102954 Start / End Page: 1 - 25 Identifier: ISSN: 0047-2484
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922647065