DECODING AN EARLY HOLOCENE SAHARAN STRATIFIED SITE. CERAMIC DISPERSION AND SITE FORMATION PROCESSES IN THE TAKARKORI ROCK-SHELTER, ACACUS MOUNTAINS, LIBYA

In: Journal of African Archaeology
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  • 1 I Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia, University of Rome La Sapienza
  • 2 Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche, Archeologiche e Antropologiche dell’Antichità University of Rome La Sapienza
  • 3 Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche, Archeologiche e Antropologiche dell’Antichità University of Rome La Sapienza

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The surface pottery from a well-preserved Holocene archaeological site in south-western Libya is analysed. The collection suggests a long and protracted human occupation of the shelter, from Late Acacus (Mesolithic) hunter-gatherers to Late Pastoral (Neolithic) herders. Aim of the work is to decode the dynamic history of the site via the study of its surface elements, both artefacts and ecofacts, and the way they interacted over the millennia. To do this, traditional ceramic analysis is combined with recently developed methods of description imported from sedimentology, stressing the potentialities of surface archaeological material. In this framework, spatial analysis of scattered potsherds, in connection with their quantitative and qualitative features and chronological attribution, appears of main relevance in the analysis of site formation processes and postdepositional events that altered the archaeological deposit, transforming its present surface.

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