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Terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene settlements in West Turkana (northern Kenya): New radiocarbon dates

Author(s): Amanuel Beyin ; Hong Wang ; Mary Prendergast ; Katherine Grillo

Year: 2017

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Lake Turkana in northern Kenya has played a central role in generating archaeological and paleoclimatic datasets relevant to studying key transitions in human prehistory. Generally, despite its rich Plio-Pleistocene hominin fossil record, the later prehistory of the basin, particularly the period between 50 and 10 ka, remains comparatively underexplored. In this paper, we discuss new radiocarbon dates from two recently excavated sites in West Turkana, namely Kokito 01 (GcJh11) and Kokito 02 (GcJh12). The sites span the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene (14–10 ka), a time of substantial ecological and cultural changes globally. Site chronologies are interpreted with reference to fluctuating lake levels during the African Humid Period. Well-dated sites from this timespan are scarce in the Turkana Basin, and the new radiocarbon dates are important for establishing human settlement history and associated cultural developments in the region during shifting climatic conditions at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.

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Terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene settlements in West Turkana (northern Kenya): New radiocarbon dates. Amanuel Beyin, Hong Wang, Mary Prendergast, Katherine Grillo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429713)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17361

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