Looking into the Dark: Investigating Four Holocene Shelter Sites in Southwest Ethiopia


Preliminary excavations from the Gamo Ethnoarchaeological and Archaeological Research project in southwest Ethiopia include three caves and one rockshelter, located on the western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley. The analyses of these four mid-altitude (average 2135 meters) sites will add to our understanding of the cultural, ecological, and technological transitions occurring within the last 6000 years. The cave and rockshelter sites indicate the use of a classic Later Stone Age lithic assemblage, the onset of pottery as well as changes in subsistence from a wild to domesticated fauna and flora. We hope to better discern how Holocene people constructed new landscapes and technologies utilizing lowland and highland resources such as stone, fauna and flora in their transition from foraging to a pastoral/agricultural way of life. Furthermore, we compare and contrast our preliminary research results from the Gamo region with extant published information from other shelter and cave sites within Ethiopia.

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Looking into the Dark: Investigating Four Holocene Shelter Sites in Southwest Ethiopia. John Arthur, Matthew Curtis, Kathryn Arthur, Joséphine Lesur, Dorian Fuller. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397504)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;