Detecting seasonal movements between the Nile Valley and the adjacent desert in the Early Holocene period is a difficult task. The material production, especially the lithic industries, may have been oriented to different economic activities forwarded in these two different environments. Identifying lithic products as the output of the same cultural group moving from one area to the other may be, for this reason, quite complex. The Nabta region and the IInd Cataract offer an interesting hint on this argument. This contribution will try to highlight similarities between groups living in the Nile Valley and the Western Desert considering artefacts and faunal remains left by the inhabitants of Nabta/Kiseiba area and the Khartoum Variant sites of the Nile Valley IInd Cataract. This analysis will also make possible to advance a new chronological attribution for the Khartoum Variant cultural phase.
The study area presented in this paper comprises two geographical entities in northern Upper Nubia located between the Second and the Third Cataract of the Nile River: Sai Island and the Amara West district, on the present left bank of the river. Four sites, three at Sai Island and one in the Amara West district, were excavated. They represent three distinct archaeological complexes, named Arkinian, Khartoum Variant, and Abkan, which encompass a long time period from ca. 11,000 to 6000 cal years BP (9000–4000 BC) and range from late foraging to early pastoralism. Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating was applied to multiproxy materials in order to provide a frame of reference for this important chronological and economic period in this area. Different types of materials were selected, namely wood charcoal, charcoal tempers in pottery, ostrich eggshell, and aquatic gastropod shells. Twenty-four new AMS radiocarbon dates are presented to (a) cross-check the accuracy and reliability of the chronology of late foraging and early pastoral sites in our study area; (b) integrate, update, and revise the previously available radiometric dates; and (c) reconstruct a comprehensive framework of the chronology of late foraging and early pastoralism in Upper Nubia.
concerned, the range of early decorated pottery found at the Turkana sites is very similar to that of the Early Khartoum pottery and allied pottery traditions such as the KhartoumVariant in the Nubian Nile Valley. However, while the early Lake Turkana pottery and the KhartoumVariant pottery consistently