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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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Vol. 10 (2) 2012

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A. Gautier, D. Makowiecki, H. Paner & W. Van Neer

Palaeolithic Big Game Hunting at HP766 in Wadi Umm Rahau, Northern Sudan

Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 10 (2), 2012, pages 165-174, DOI 10.3213/2191-5784-10222

Abstract

HP766, discovered by the Gdansk Archaeological Museum Expedition (GAME) in the region immediately upstream the Merowe Dam in North Sudan and now under water, is one of the few palaeolithic sites with animal bone remains in the country. The archaeological deposits, the large size of the site, the lithics and the radiocarbon dates indicate occupation of a silt terrace of the Nile in late MSA and perhaps LSA times. Large and very large mammals predominate markedly among the recovered bone remains and it would seem that the palaeolithic hunters focused on such game. They could corner these animals on the site which is partially surrounded by high bedrock outcrops. Moreover swampy conditions of the site after the retreat of the annual Nile flood may have rendered less mobile the prey animals. According to this scenario, HP766 would testify to the ecological skills and generational memory of late prehistoric man in Sudan.

Résumé
HP766, découvert par la Gdansk Archaeological Museum Expedition (GAME) dans la région immédiatement en amont du Barrage de Méroé au nord du Soudan et maintenant sous eau, est un des rares sites paléolithiques avec des restes animaux dans le pays. Les dépôts archéologiques, la grande superficie du site, les artéfacts lithiques et les dates au radiocarbone indiquent l’occupation d’une terrace de silt du Nil au cours du MSA tardif et peut-être du LSA. Les mammifères de grande et de très grande taille prédominent parmi les restes osseux recueillis et les chasseurs paléolithiques paraissent s’être concentrés sur ce gibier. Ils pouvaient piéger ces bêtes sur le site en partie barré par de hauts affleurements de la roche mère. En outre, les conditions marécageuses du lieu après le retrait de l’inondation annuelle du Nil pouvaient rendre moins mobiles les animaux piégés. D’après ce scénario, HP 766 témoignerait du savoir écologique et de la mémoire générationnelle de l’homme préhistorique tardif au Soudan.


Keywords: archaeozoology, hunting strategies, Palaeolithic, Sudan


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