An Early Holocene Lithic Assemblage from Dibé Rockshelter, South-Central Ethiopia

In: Journal of African Archaeology
Hila Ashkenazy DFG Center for Advanced Studies, University of Tübingen 72070 Tübingen Germany

Search for other papers by Hila Ashkenazy in
Current site
Google Scholar
Yonatan Sahle Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town Rondebosch 7701 South Africa

Search for other papers by Yonatan Sahle in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



The dearth of securely dated assemblages in the Horn of Africa limits a comprehensive understanding of human adaptation across the Early Holocene. This paper presents results from initial analyses of lithic material from Dibé rockshelter in the Arsi lowlands, Ethiopia. Radiocarbon dates confirm occupation of Dibé rockshelter by hunter-gatherers directly following improved climatic conditions marking the onset of the Holocene. Microliths dominate both the surface and excavated sub-assemblages. Micro-burins and Levallois items are present, although more frequent as surface finds. Regionally available siliceous rocks were extensively exploited, with greater variety in the older occupation layers signifying differential access to raw material sources and/or wider foraging ranges. Largely similar reduction patterns and toolkits across the sampled sequence imply continuity in lithic tradition. This, coupled with the total absence of finds commonly associated with early food production, suggests that Dibé was abandoned during one of the abrupt arid episodes of the Early/Mid-Holocene.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 528 127 9
Full Text Views 31 11 0
PDF Views & Downloads 49 10 0