Tuesday, 16 October 2018

A Middle Pleistocene Acheulean Site from the Central Ethiopian Highlands.

High altitude environments provide a unique set of survival challenges for Modern Humans, and presumably also the earlier Hominins from which we are descended, including reduced oxygen levels, higher exposure to ultra-violet radiation, higher rates of water loss and higher nutrition requirements to support a stressed metabolism. For this reason, the conquest of these environments has always been assumed to be a relatively modern phenomenon, which occurred when Holocene Humans with rising populations began to fill up lowland environments, leading them to explore the less optimal highlands of Europe and Asia.

In a paper published in the Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology on 24 September 2018, Ralf Vogelsang of the Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Cologne, Olaf Bubenzer of the Institute of Geography at Heidelberg University, Martin Kehl and Svenja Meyer of the Institute of Geography at the University of Cologne, J├╝rgen Richter, also of the Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Cologne, and Bahru Zinaye of the School of Earth Sciences at Addis Ababa University, describe an Middle Pleistocene Acheulean Site from the Dendi Caldera in the Western Central Highland Plateaus of Ethiopia.

The Dendi Caldera is an extinct volcano on the Yerer-TulluWellel Volcano Tectonic Lineament, which stretches west from the Main Ethiopian Rift as far as the border with Sudan. The volcano is thought to have begun erupting in the Middle Miocene, with activity ceasing less than a million years ago. The rocks of the caldera are largely rhyolites and trachytes, overlain by lava flows with a significant proportion of obsidian (likely to have been valued by stone age tool makers), which are in turn overlain by volcanic ash deposits. The caldera is surrounded by a rim which rises 440 m above the central depression, which contains a double lake fed by springs and seeps within the caldera. The River Huluka, a tributary of the Blue Nile, originates in the caldera.

Mount Dendi. (a) View of Mount Dendi (looking west). (b) View of the two crater lakes within the caldera. (c) Map showing the location of archaeological sites. Vogelsang et al. (2018).

Archaeological material was first discovered in the caldera during a survey by the Collaborative Research Center of the University of Cologne, and two successive expeditions in 2013 and 2015 have revealed a total of 75 archaeological sites. The majority of these are Later Stone Age and Middle Stone Age sites, yielding small amounts of material, but ten of the sites yield Early Stone Age material and are dated to the Middle Pleistocene. Vogelsang et al. concentrate on one of these sites, DEN-12-A02.

DEN-12-A02 is located in the eastern Dendi Caldera, at an altitude of 3000 metres above sea level. The site has yielded both Early Stone Age and Middle Stone Age material, with a total of 65 artifacts (33 flakes, 8 cores, 5 blades, 8 large bifacial tools, 7 small facially retouched points) from two terraces exposed during road construction work. The Early Stone Age material comprises Acheulean material (a technology that appeared about 1.8 million years ago and which is associated with Homo erectus, and sometimes other members of the genus Homo) originating from a layer of dark, reddish clayey soil. This material includes two elongated hand axes, three ovate hand axes, one cordate hand axe, two leaf-shaped scrapers, one ‘Keilmesser’ backed bifacial knife, and a cleaver. The production method of these tools is consistent, which probably implies that they originate from a single temporary occupation of the site. Based upon the complexity of this technology the occupation is considered to date from the Middle-to-Late Acheulean, between 500 000 and 200 000 years ago, a period that brackets the emergence of the first Modern Humans in East Africa.

DEN12-A02 bifacial tools. (1) Flat cordate hand axe, (2) bifacial scraper, (3) ovate hand axe, (4) cleaver-like biface, (5) elongated hand axe, and (6) ‘Keilmesser’ bifacial knife. Vogelsang et al. (2018). 

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2018/10/analysing-still-bay-material-from.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2018/08/human-teeth-from-middle-stone-age.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2018/07/australopithecus-afarensis-early.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2018/04/dating-middle-stone-age-later-stone-age.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/11/evidence-of-heat-treatment-during.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/03/middle-palaeolithic-stone-tools-from.html
Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.

2 comments:

  1. The Le_Meridian Funding Service went above and beyond their requirements to assist me with my debt consolidation. They were friendly, professional, and absolute gems to work with.I will recommend anyone looking for loan to contact. lfdsloans@lemeridianfds.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. My life is beautiful thanks to you, Mein Helfer. Lord Jesus in my life as a candle light in the darkness. You showed me the meaning of faith with your words. I know that even when I cried all day thinking about how to recover, you were not sleeping, you were dear to me. I contacted the herbal center Dr Itua, who lived in West Africa. A friend of mine here in Hamburg is also from Africa. She told me about African herbs but I was nervous. I am very afraid when it comes to Africa because I heard many terrible things about them because of my Christianity. god for direction, take a bold step and get in touch with him in the email and then move to WhatsApp, he asked me if I can come for treatment or I want a delivery, I told him I wanted to know him I buy ticket in 2 ways to Africa To meet Dr. Itua, I went there and I was speechless from the people I saw there. Patent, sick people. Itua is a god sent to the world, I told my pastor about what I am doing, Pastor Bill Scheer. We have a real battle beautifully with Spirit and Flesh. Adoration that same night. He prayed for me and asked me to lead. I spent 2 weeks and 2 days in Africa at Dr Itua Herbal Home. After the treatment, he asked me to meet his nurse for the HIV test when I did it. It was negative, I asked my friend to take me to another nearby hospital when I arrived, it was negative. I was overwhite with the result, but happy inside of me. We went with Dr. Itua, I thank him but I explain that I do not have enough to show him my appreciation, that he understands my situation, but I promise that he will testify about his good work. Thank God for my dear friend, Emma, I know I could be reading this now, I want to thank you. And many thanks to Dr. Itua Herbal Center. He gave me his calendar that I put on my wall in my house. Dr. Itua can also cure the following diseases ... Cancer, HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis B, Inflammatory Liver, Diabetis, Fribroid,Parkinson's disease,Inflammatory bowel disease ,Fibromyalgia, recover your ex. You can contact him by email or whatsapp, @ .. drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com, phone number .. + 2348149277967 .. He is a good doctor, talk to him kindly. I'm sure he will also listen to you.

    ReplyDelete