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Early Holocene Occupations at Ashash Rock Shelter (Zemmur, Western Sahara)

In: Journal of African Archaeology
Authors:
Ferran Borrell Institució Milà i Fontanals, Spanish National Research Council (IMF-CSIC) Egipcíaques 15, 08001 Barcelona Spain

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Gabriel Alcalde Institute of Historical Research, Universitat de Girona Spain

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Ignacio Clemente Institució Milà i Fontanals, Spanish National Research Council (IMF-CSIC) Egipcíaques 15, 08001 Barcelona Spain

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Maria Saña Department of Prehistory, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Spain

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Joaquim Soler Institute of Historical Research, Universitat de Girona Spain

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Narcís Soler Institute of Historical Research, Universitat de Girona Spain

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Abstract

The archaeological record of the Western Sahara remains extremely fragmentary, with very few sites systematically excavated. The excavation at Ashash rock shelter (Zemmur region) has provided, for the first time in the region, the evidence of superimposition of two prehistoric occupations that have been radiocarbon dated to the early 9th millennium cal. BP and to the mid-7th millennium cal. BP. The Epipalaeolithic occupation is strongly marked by the standardised production of geometric microliths and points using a microburin blow technique. The Neolithic occupation of the site has yielded a few potsherds that provide the first unambiguous evidence of pottery in the Zemmur area in the mid-7th millennium cal. BP.

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