Recent re-excavation of Mumba Rockshelter unearthed an unbiased lithic sample from Bed V. Technological analysis has permitted a reinterpretation of the so-called Mumba Industry, a transitional industry between Middle and Later Stone Ages originally defined by Mehlman (1989). Our data confirm Mehlman’s observation that the “evolutionary” markers in Mumba Bed V are basically typological. However, our study differs from his in that we classify all of Bed V as LSA based on the combined analyses of typology and technology in our excavated assemblage. From a technological perspective, no changes have been observed throughout the sequence, and continuity is the main technological characteristic of the series. The only transitional marker from Lower through Upper Bed V is the appearance of the geometric crescent in the latter, taking into account that microliths exist throughout the sequence. This evidence casts some doubts on previous interpretations and underscores the need to recover a larger sample using modern excavation techniques. It also stresses the need to define the MSA/LSA transition in better terms, combining techno-typological criteria.
Fernando Diez-Martín, Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo, Policarpo Sánchez, Audax Z.P. Mabulla, Antonio Tarriño, Rebeca Barba, Mary E. Prendergast and Luis de Luque
Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo, Fernando Díez-Martín, Audax Mabulla, Luis Luque, Luis Alcalá, Antonio Tarriño, José Antonio López-Sáez, Rebeca Barba and Pastory Bushozi
Ongoing archaeological research at North Lake Eyasi has produced a wealth of information, including a new hominid fossil and several archaeological sites dating to the end of the Middle Pleistocene. One of the sites (WB9) has been excavated and has produced evidence of multiple processes in its formation, including evidence of functional associations of stone tools and faunal remains which are scarce for this time period. The stone tool industry is based on a core and flake industry, which is not very diagnostic and attributed to MSA. Earlier heavy-duty tools classified as Sangoan may derive from the underlying Eyasi Beds. The stratigraphic provenience of previous fossil hominids is unknown. Surface collections from the Eyasi lake, thus, comprise two different sets of stone tools and fossils, which can only be clearly differentiated in the field. This advises against the use of previously curated collections as a homogeneous sample. Earlier definitions of the Njarasa industry should be revised. This work presents results on the paleoecology of the area and of its paleontological and archaeological information, with special reference to the excavation of WB9, the most complete site discovered in the area so far. This contributes to the limited information available about site functionality and hominid subsistential behaviour in East Africa during the end of the Middle Pleistocene. A technological study from WB9 also shows the variability of stone tool traditions at this time.
Mary E. Prendergast, Luis Luque, Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo, Fernando Diez-Martín, Audax Z.P. Mabulla and Rebeca Barba
Mumba Rockshelter in northern Tanzania presents one of the richest and most complete archaeological sequences in East Africa for the Middle Stone Age through the Iron Age. Past excavations of the shelter revealed an extremely rich lithic and faunal assemblage, but were problematic, either because of poor excavation and recording methods (in the 1930s), or because the materials were never fully studied (in the 1979/1981 excavations). In both cases, excavators had concluded that the shelter contained a deposit without visible separation between archaeological levels. Re-excavation of Mumba, using modern techniques for recording spatial data, show that the previous geological and archaeological sub-divisions of the shelter deposits need much revision. The results of the excavation have implications for the interpretation of the “transitional” Mumba Industry in the Pleistocene levels and for the co-occurrence of ceramic traditions in the Holocene levels.
A.C. Christie and A. Haour
archaeological literature whereby the first cowries to arrive into West Africa were Monetaria moneta brought in from the Maldives while Monetaria annulus (Linneaus 1758) was brought from East Africa only from later periods, via European maritime trade routes. Monod (1969: 309) suggests that while East Africa
Kathryn Ranhorn and Christian A. Tryon
program of direct dating at Nasera and compare these results with the recent comprehensive re-dating of Mumba rockshelter, where the proposed shared industries are present (Gliganic et al. 2012). We then compare the revised Nasera dates to other recently dated East African sequences outside of northern
Enza Elena Spinapolice, Andrea Zerboni, Michael Meyer and Donatella Usai
African regions, Sudan is one where Palaeolithic research has been stagnating for a long time. Due to the paucity of in situ and radiometrically dated MSA contexts in this region, our discovery has the great potential of increase our knowledge on the dispersal of Homo sapiens from East Africa to
Hugo Pinto, Will Archer, David Witelson, Rae Regensberg, Stephanie Edwards Baker, Rethabile Mokhachane, Joseph Ralimpe, Nkosinathi Ndaba, Lisedi Mokhantso, Puseletso Lecheko and Sam Challis
implications for heated archaeological minerals . Journal of Field Archaeology 42 ( 4 ), 364 - 377 . Walker , R. 1985 . A Guide to Postcranial Bones of East African Mammals . Hylochoerus Press , Norwich . Witelson, D.M. and Guillemard, I. 2017. An overview of lithic material from MAF1 in the
Chapurukha M. Kusimba, Sibel B. Kusimba and David K. Wright
Archaeologists and historians have long believed that little interaction existed between Iron Age cities of the Kenya Coast and their rural hinterlands. Ongoing archaeological and anthropological research in Tsavo, Southeast Kenya, shows that Tsavo has been continuously inhabited at least since the early Holocene. Tsavo peoples made a living by foraging, herding, farming, and producing pottery and iron, and in the Iron Age were linked to global markets via coastal traders. They were at one point important suppliers of ivory destined for Southwest and South Asia. Our excavations document forager and agropastoralist habitation sites, iron smelting and iron working sites, fortified rockshelters, and mortuary sites. We discuss the relationship between fortified rockshelters, in particular, and slave trade.
Mary E. Prendergast, Katherine M. Grillo, Audax Z.P. Mabulla and Hong Wang
This paper presents and contextualizes two radiocarbon dates directly obtained from Kansyore and Savanna Pastoral Neolithic (Narosura) ceramic sherds from sites near Lake Eyasi in Tanzania. The dates improve upon those obtained during prior research, which were compromised by problematic samples and stratigraphic disturbance. This underscores the importance of direct dating on diagnostic ceramics in areas with poor site integrity. The Eyasi Basin, often thought to mark a “southern frontier” for stone-using herders, is placed in a broader regional context in terms of material correlates of the spread of food production.
). This period is known as the “African Humid Period” (e.g. de Menocal et al. 2000; Garcin et al. 2012). As a result, during the Early and Middle Holocene, vast areas of North and East Africa were characterized by a humid climate with partially interlinked lakes and a wide range of water fauna (e