Location 268 in Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, is an anomaly within the Epipalaeolithic of North Africa. Instead of the characteristic microlith, a small element usually modified for hafting in a composite tool, it yields tools made almost exclusively on large blanks, many of them heavily modified for hafting. Relative dating evidence suggests that Loc. 268 was occupied late in the Epipalaeolithic, when groups elsewhere in the region were gradually phasing out the microlith. The focus on large hafted tools at Loc. 268 may reflect the need of collectors for a reliable toolkit to counter the risks entailed in opting for greater sedentism within an unusually rich, well-watered niche.
G. Caton-Thompson and E. W. Gardner designated new Pleistocene cultural units at Kharga Oasis in the 1930’s: both were originally termed ‘pre-Sebilian’, but were later locally named the ‘Levalloiso-Khargan’ and ‘Khargan’ industries. High on the Bulaq scarp face, a puzzling cluster of stone ‘alignments’ was discovered in 1931–32, with a reported, but discounted, association with ‘Levalloiso-Khargan’ artefacts. Gardner excavated some features in 1933. Members of the Kharga Oasis Prehistory Project relocated ‘Site J’ in January 2011, and verified the reported Khargan associations with the features. In 2008, the project found structural features associated with Khargan artefacts in the northern Gebel Yebsa survey area, confirming earlier finds in the southern oases of Kurkur and Dungul. Evidence there, and that found in Kharga and Dakhleh oases, is now designated as the Khargan Complex. The associated built stone features of the included cultural units appear to be unique in Late Pleistocene Africa, especially at Bulaq.