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The Relevance of the Abdur and Asfet Middle Stone Age Sites from the Red Sea Coast of Eritrea

Author(s): Amanuel Beyin

Year: 2016

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Summary

The Red Sea basin is emerging as an important region for testing current hypotheses concerning early human dispersal routes out of Africa. However, the immediate peripheries of the basin, especially the African side had seen little prior Paleolithic research, hindering well informed assessment of the temporal and cultural contexts of hominin adaptation along the Red Sea. Owing to its strategic geographic position along the African side of the Red Sea, Eritrea (with ~1300 km of coastline) represents an ideal place to look for prehistoric sites associated with hominin dispersals out of Africa. Two separate field projects carried out between 1999 and 2005 along the Gulf of Zula region of Eritrea have documented evidence of Middle Stone Age occupations at two sites, namely Abdur and Asfet. The two sites are situated ~20 km apart, but lie broadly within the same landscape setting- coastal periphery of the Gulf of Zula. This paper will discuss the relevance of the Abdur and Asfet archaeological finds in assessing the potential role of the African side of the Red Sea basin as a refugium and dispersal corridor for Late Pleistocene humans.


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The Relevance of the Abdur and Asfet Middle Stone Age Sites from the Red Sea Coast of Eritrea. Amanuel Beyin. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404089)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America