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  Hunter-gatherer technological organization and responses to Holocene climate change in coastal, lakeshore, and grassland ecologies of eastern Africa

Goldstein, S. T., Shipton, C., Miller, J. M., Ndiema, E., Boivin, N., & Petraglia, M. (2022). Hunter-gatherer technological organization and responses to Holocene climate change in coastal, lakeshore, and grassland ecologies of eastern Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews, 280: 107390. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107390.

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Goldstein, Steven T.1, Author              
Shipton, Ceri, Author
Miller, Jennifer M.1, Author              
Ndiema, Emmanuel1, Author              
Boivin, Nicole1, Author              
Petraglia, Michael1, Author              
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074312              


Free keywords: Archaeology, Africa, Lithic technology, Hunter-gatherers, Climate change, Resilience
 Abstract: The Holocene of eastern Africa saw extreme climatic fluctuations between hyper-humid and arid conditions, which manifested differently across the region's lake basins, coastal ecotones, and terrestrial biomes. Changes to resource availability, distribution, and predictability presented different constraints and opportunities to diverse hunter-gatherer communities. Major ongoing questions concern how humans reconfigured economic, social, and technological strategies in different regional settings. The role of more stable coastal environments in these processes remains especially under-studied. Here, we examine and compare relationships between environmental change and the organization of stone tool technology at the site of Panga ya Saidi Cave, eastern Kenya, in strata dating from c. 15-0.2 ka. Located near the Indian Ocean coast, this dataset provides the first insights into Holocene human-environmental relationships in a coastal forest zone of eastern Africa. Integrating the new Panga ya Saidi environmental and archaeological records with other high-resolution records from nearby terrestrial and lacustrine zones, we take a comparative approach to address how climatic fluctuations shaped trajectories of hunter-gatherer adaptations through the Holocene. We argue that lithic technologies deployed within lake basins and coastal zones reflect more stable land-use strategies with less residential mobility compared to those associated with terrestrial foraging. All regions exhibit technological reconfigurations with the arrival of pastoralism, except for the coastal forest which appear largely consistent across the study period. Results inform ongoing debates into the resilience of recent eastern African hunter-gatherers and food-producers and provide an analogical framework for examining human-environmental dynamics deeper in time.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2022-02-152022-03-15
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: 1. Introduction
2. Background
2.1. Holocene climatic change in north-eastern Africa
2.2. Lithic technological organization and inferring human-environmental interactions
3. Holocene climatic and technological change across eastern Africa
3.1. Lake Turkana Basin Fisher-foragers
3.2. Hunter-gatherers in the Central Rift valley
3.3. Lake Victoria Fisher-foragers
3.4. Central Tanzania/Lake Eyasi basin hunter-gatherers
3.5. The eastern African coast
3.6. Panga ya Saidi
4. Methods
4.1. Temporal division and sampling
4.2. Lithic analysis
5. Results
5.1. Tool technology
5.2. Core morphology
5.3. Core preparation and repair
5.4. Core reduction strategies
5.4.1. Use of quartz and limestone
5.4.2. Chert technology
6. Discussion
6.1. Terminal Pleistocene-to-Holocene mobility and lithic economy at Panga ya Saidi
6.2. Relationship between technological variation, climate change, and forager resilience in Holocene eastern Africa
6.3. Wider implications for understanding variation in stone tool technology
7. Conclusions
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107390
Other: shh3151
 Degree: -



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Title: Quaternary Science Reviews
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Oxford : Pergamon
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 280 Sequence Number: 107390 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0277-3791
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925505268