Palaeolithic Big Game Hunting at HP766 in Wadi Umm Rahau, Northern Sudan

In: Journal of African Archaeology
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  • 1 Research Unit Palaeontology, University of Ghent
  • 2 Institute of Archaeology, Nicolaus Copernicus University
  • 3 Gdansk Archaeological Museum
  • 4 Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

HP766, discovered by the Gdansk Archaeological Museum Expedition (GAME) in the region immediately upstream the Merowe Dam in North Sudan and now under water, is one of the few palaeolithic sites with animal bone remains in the country. The archaeological deposits, the large size of the site, the lithics and the radiocarbon dates indicate occupation of a silt terrace of the Nile in late MSA and perhaps LSA times. Large and very large mammals predominate markedly among the recovered bone remains and it would seem that the palaeolithic hunters focused on such game. They could corner these animals on the site which is partially surrounded by high bedrock outcrops. Moreover swampy conditions of the site after the retreat of the annual Nile flood may have rendered less mobile the prey animals. According to this scenario, HP766 would testify to the ecological skills and generational memory of late prehistoric man in Sudan.

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