Neolithic vs. Late Stone Age: The Neolithic Revolution in the Horn of Africa Reconsidered

Author(s): Rachel Moy

Year: 2015


This poster assesses the applicability of the term "Neolithic" to describe the beginning of sedentism and agriculture in Ethiopia, and whether we can compare it to similar periods in other regions. The use of the term "Neolithic" has been criticized in recent years (Finlayson 2011; Zeder 2009) both for the implication that the period was one of revolution and its associated package of characteristics. This designation originally derived from the definition of the term as including the birth of agriculture and increased sedentism in the Near East (Childe 1951), but has now become a blanket term to describe prehistoric societies across the globe. Scholars now recognize that the adoption of separate components of the "Neolithic package" happened at various rates and scales in different regions. Though designations of Late Stone Age are more common in African archaeology, the term "African Neolithic" is still regularly used. This poster reconsiders evidence for when components of the "Neolithic package" were first adopted in the Horn of Africa, and through this discussion, considers if the term "Ethiopian Neolithic Revolution" is appropriate for the region's prehistory.

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Cite this Record

Neolithic vs. Late Stone Age: The Neolithic Revolution in the Horn of Africa Reconsidered. Rachel Moy. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397847)

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Ethiopia Neolithic

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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