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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Journal contents:


Vol. 9 (2) 2011

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D. Barsky, C. Chapon-Sao, J.-J. Bahain, Y. Beyene, D. Cauche, V. Celiberti, E. Desclaux, H. de Lumley, M.-A. de Lumley, F. Marchal, P.-E. Moullé & D. Pleurdeau

The Early Oldowan Stone-Tool Assemblage from Fejej FJ-1A, Ethiopia

Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 9 (2), 2011, pages 207-224, DOI 10.3213/2191-5784-10196

Abstract
Located in the Omo-Turkana basin at the northern limit of the Koobi Fora sedimentary Formation, the Fejej region has recently proven to be a rich study area for understanding early hominin behaviour and paleoenvironmental conditions. Among the rich fossiliferous and stone artefact localities discovered so far at Fejej, the FJ-1a archeological site has yielded a faunal and lithic assemblage in primary context. The archeological level is situated within a 15 meter fluvial sequence beneath a volcanic tuff. Geochronological data from the FJ-1 sequence indicate an age of nearly 1.9 Ma for the FJ-1a artefact level. The stone industry was knapped from locally available raw materials (mainly quartz and basalt) and rocks had been carefully selected according to specific petrographical and formal criterion. Hominins mastered several distinct stone knapping methods and used more or less exhaustive reduction sequences in order to produce small flakes. The different techniques used for stone reduction are defined in this paper thanks to a series of refits of flakes onto cores. Along with the refits, an in-depth analysis of the flakes, cores and worked pebbles provides an overview of the technological capacities of hominins present at the site nearly 2 million years ago. After the Fejej FJ-1a site was abandoned the archeological materials were rapidly buried, leaving an almost undisturbed archeological level. This site appears to represent a short episode of hominin occupation.

Résumé
La région de Fejej est située dans le bassin Omo-Turkana, à la limite septentrionale de la Formation sédimentaire de Koobi Fora. Récemment, cette région s'est avérée être importante pour la compréhension du comportement des homininés et des conditions paléoenvironnementales. Parmi les localités découvertes à Fejej, riches en fossiles et en industries lithiques, le site archéologique de FJ-1a a livré un assemblage de faunes et d'industries dans un contexte primaire. Le niveau archéologique est renfermé dans une séquence sédimentaire fluviatile sous un tuf volcanique. Les données géochronologiques de la séquence de FJ-1 indiquent un âge d'environ 1,9 Ma pour le niveau archéologique FJ-1a. Sur le site, des matières premières locales (essentiellement quartz et basalte) ont servi à tailler les industries lithiques. Les homininés
ont sélectionné les roches selon des critères pétrographiques et géométriques spécifiques. Ils maîtrisaient plusieurs méthodes de débitage différentes et utilisaient des séquences de réduction des nucléus plus ou moins exhaustives, afin de produire des éclats de petites dimensions. Cet article décrit les différentes techniques de débitage des roches, par la description d'une série de remontages d'éclats sur les nucléus. Ensuite, une analyse approfondie des éclats, des nucléus et des galets taillés permet de comprendre les capacités technologiques des homininés présents sur le site de FJ-1a il y a près de 2 Ma. Après l'abandon du site par les homininés, les ossements et les industries lithiques furent rapidement enfouis, laissant un niveau archéologique en place, indicatif d'un épisode d'occupation de courte durée.




Keywords: Ethiopia, knapping, Mode 1, Oldowan, Plio-Pleistocene, refits, stone tool assemblage, technology, variability


© Copyright: Africa Magna Verlag 2011
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