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Ground Stone Technology in the Late Pleistocene Horn of Africa: An Assemblage from Mochena Borago Rockshelter, Southwest Ethiopia.

Author(s): Benjamin Smith

Year: 2017

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Summary

Ground stone technology is an early component of the African Middle and Late Pleistocene hominin behavioral package. However, very little attention has been paid to quantifying Pleistocene ground stone variation in Africa. This paper describes a ground stone assemblage from the site of Mochena Borago in Southwest Ethiopia. The site plays a key role in testing the hypothesis that the highlands of Southwestern Ethiopia acted as a refugium for hunter-gatherer populations looking to escape environmental degradation associated with MIS 4 (73.4-60 ka BP). Ground stone is found interspersed throughout the assemblage with noteworthy concentrations below the earliest dated occupational horizons at ~54 ka BP. The ground stone component is composed primarily of expedient tools, or outiles a posteriori, likely shaped through use rather than intentional design. A number of ground stone artifacts preserve ochre residues adherent to their working surface. Considered in light of previously analyzed ochre pieces from younger deposits at the site, these artifacts suggest that pigments were were being processed throughout the site’s occupational history. These analyses provide a platform to launch comparative studies of Pleistocene ground stone technology throughout the Horn of Africa.


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Ground Stone Technology in the Late Pleistocene Horn of Africa: An Assemblage from Mochena Borago Rockshelter, Southwest Ethiopia.. Benjamin Smith. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429656)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17544

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