Assessment of projectile use at Aduma (Middle Awash, Ethiopia)

Author(s): Yonatan Sahle

Year: 2015


There is not yet clear evidence for the beginning of complex projectile technologies (propulsion via mechanical aid). Morphological attributes and miniaturization of stone points at Aduma have been used to suggest early complex projectile use ~100,000-80,000 years ago. Hafting traces on stone segments and geometric pieces were presented as better indications of early complex projectile use at Sibudu Cave, South Africa, ca. 64,000 years ago. However, neither point shape/size nor evidence for hafting unequivocally imply the existence of complex projectile technologies. With only the lithic component of complex projectile technologies so far recovered from the African Middle Stone Age, confident reconstruction of the entire armature system (based on ethnographic analogues) requires unambiguous evidence, such as fracture propagation velocity on stone points damaged from impact. Unfortunately, this method has extremely limited applicability. Given these facts, the use of multiple lines of circumstantial evidence is the best approach to a sound assessment of complex projectile use. This study examines morphological attributes and macrofracture damage patterns on the Aduma assemblages. In so doing, it re-assesses previous suggestions for the points’ use as tips of early complex projectiles.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Assessment of projectile use at Aduma (Middle Awash, Ethiopia). Yonatan Sahle. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397524)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

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