Middle Stone Age Technologies in Mozambique: A Preliminary Study of the Niassa and Massingir Regions

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Abstract

Southeast Africa has become an important region for understanding the development of the Middle Stone Age (MSA) and Anatomically Modern Humans. Due to its location between east and southern Africa, Mozambique is a key region for evaluating the development of Homo sapiens and the MSA across Africa. Here, we present the first results of lithic analyses of MSA assemblages collected during survey and testing in the Niassa and Massingir regions of Mozambique in 2014-2016. We were able to locate close to 200 new Stone Age surface sites. Data show that raw material use is different in the two areas. The lithic assemblages from both areas show the use of centripetal technology, but in Massingir, Levallois points, the respective cores and blade technology are frequent, they are almost absent in the northern region.

Middle Stone Age Technologies in Mozambique: A Preliminary Study of the Niassa and Massingir Regions

in Journal of African Archaeology

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    Map of Mozambique with the study areas.
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    Map of the Niassa region with the location of sites used in this study (for detailed information on site location please use the following link https://goo.gl/Uc9UEW).
  • View in gallery
    MSA quartz cores from the Niassa region. Material provenance: a, d and f – A31; b – A34; c – A59; e – A39; g – A32. For detailed information on site location please use the following link https://goo.gl/Uc9UEW.
  • View in gallery
    MSA retouched tools from the Niassa region. All artifacts in quartzite except for a. and g. made in chert. Material provenance: a – A31; b – A36; c – A19; d – A32; e – A2; f – A26; g, h – A35; i – A21. For detailed information on site location please use the following link https://goo.gl/Uc9UEW.
  • View in gallery
    Map of the Massingir region with the location of sites used in this study (for detailed information on site location please use the following link https://goo.gl/Uc9UEW).
  • View in gallery
    Levallois cores from Massingir. All cores in quartzite except for b. in quartz. Material provenance: a – S27; b – S200; c – S26; d – S427; e – S47; f – S129. For detailed information on site location please use the following link https://goo.gl/Uc9UEW.
  • View in gallery
    MSA discoidal cores from Massingir. All cores in quartzite except for d on rhyolite. Material provenance: a – S24; b – S58; c – S3; d – S181; e – S130; f – S28. For detailed information on site location please use the following link https://goo.gl/Uc9UEW.
  • View in gallery
    Prismatic blade (top row) and bipolar cores from Massingir. a. quartz, b. quartzite, c. and d. rhyolite. Material provenance: a – S26; b – S204; c – S126; d – S47. For detailed information on site location please use the following link https://goo.gl/Uc9UEW.
  • View in gallery
    MSA retouched tools from Massingir. All quartzite with the exception of g. and h. in chert. Material provenance: a – S28; b – S123; c – S186; d – S182; e – S7; f – S107; g – S27; h – S26; i – S28; j – S6; k – S3. For detailed information on site location please use the following link https://goo.gl/Uc9UEW.

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