This paper presents the Early and Late Neolithic pottery of Ifri Oudadane, a littoral shelter in Northeast Morocco containing both Epipalaeolithic as well as Neolithic deposits. The transition is indicated by the appearance of domesticated plant and animal species, pottery and diverse changes in lithic technology. A domesticated lentil dated to 7.6 ka cal BP may mark the onset of this transitional process. With the help of 22 14C-ages the Early Neolithic deposit can be subdivided in three phases (ENA, ENB, ENC). In addition, the ENC phase contained the remains of a sporadic Late Neolithic occupation. Pottery decoration of the initial ENA phase (7.6–7.3 ka cal BP) is dominated by single Cardium impressions forming horizontal and vertical bands of impressions arranged vertical, horizontal or oblique. The successive ENB phase represents the main occupation phase between 7.1 and 6.6 ka cal BP. By means of statistical methods its assemblage, which consists of 243 vessel units, could be further subdivided (ENB1, ENB2). While ENB1 (7.1–6.9 ka cal BP) is still characterised by single Cardium impressions, the transition to ENB2 is marked by the appearance of Cardium and, later, comb impressions made using rocker stamp technique as well as a few impressions of points and spatulas, striations and modelled applications. Thus the pottery assemblage of Ifri Oudadane offers insights into the first occurrence of pottery in Mediterranean Northwest Africa and opens up the possibility for an internal classification of the Early Neolithic.
South Africa is one of the best-studied regions in terms of Stone Age research in the last few decades. Considerable progress has been made, especially for the Middle Stone Age (MSA). Recently the late Pleistocene Later Stone Age (LSA) has come back into focus. However, there are still large understudied areas such as northeastern South Africa. Here we present the first data from an archaeological site containing late Pleistocene occupations associated with the Robberg techno-complex in this region. Iron Pig rock shelter provides a well-dated sequence spanning from >16000 cal BP to <9000 cal BP. A lithic analysis of the Robberg occupations of the lowermost layers 5 and 6 provided here implies gradual temporal shifts in technology indicating short-term changing traditions. A comparative review of other LSA sites in the wider region suggests considerable research gaps and the necessity of intensified work in this area.
Over the last hundred years the Djebel Uweinat was the objective of several expeditions, most of them being driven by the intention to find new rock art sites. These explorers mostly stayed at the base of the mountain where the majority of the currently known rock art sites were found. During their two recent visits, the members of the ACACIA team focused their interest on the upper part of the Uweinat and on its smaller, mostly neglected neighbouring mountain, the Djebel Arkenu.
In the upper part of the Djebel Uweinat artefacts and some stone arrangements were found. While no rock art sites were spotted in the upper part, we discuss the function of stone arrangements and rock art from the lower reaches in view of the semiotic processes in which they may have operated. The presentation of the rock art sites found at Djebel Arkenu will also be fitted into an overview of how we interpret the cognitive map of people who used to live in the environment of the two mountains. Furthermore, some background information concerning the landmarking function of the archaeological finds is given which could be a useful indicator of the character of mobility as well as of perception of landscape among prehistoric people.