The Later Stone Age in the 4th Cataract Region, Sudan: Lithic Assemblage Features at ASU 09-02

Author(s): Deborah Olszewski; Brenda Baker

Year: 2017


Later Stone Age (LSA) foragers in the Middle Nile Valley had relatively mobile lifeways that included use of pottery. Distinguishing LSA from Neolithic ceramics is difficult due to continuity in styles, an issue that extends to lithic assemblages. Lunate microliths and scaled pieces and use of flint and quartz as main lithic raw materials span both periods. We examine the lithic assemblage at ASU 09-02, a LSA site in the 4th Cataract region of northern Sudan. Situated on a terrace north of the Nile River, radiocarbon dates between 10,600 and 9500 cal BP indicate occupation(s) in the earliest Holocene. ASU 09-02 also yielded ground stone tools, bedrock grinding slicks, and a cluster of 25 pits within sedimentary bedrock. Lithics were obtained from surface collection and excavation. Analysis shows that flint (58.4%) and quartz (22.9%) predominate. Results support previous observations that emphasis on blade/bladelet production (10.5% surface and 5.5% excavation) may be one characteristic of the LSA compared to the Neolithic. Slight flint and quartz patination also may distinguish lithics from the two periods. These attributes depart from the traditional way of differentiating chronological periods, which cannot be applied here due to similarities in the tool components.

Cite this Record

The Later Stone Age in the 4th Cataract Region, Sudan: Lithic Assemblage Features at ASU 09-02. Deborah Olszewski, Brenda Baker. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429474)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15826

This Resource is Part of the Following User Created Collections