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Mapping MSA Deposits: Regional Geological Investigation of Upper Chari Member Sediments in the Ileret Region, East Turkana, Kenya

Author(s): Shannon Warren ; Michael Ziegler ; Silindokuhle Mavuso ; Tamara Dogandžic ; Kathryn Ranhorn

Year: 2017

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Summary

The Ileret region of the Koobi Fora Formation (KF Fm.), located in Kenya’s Turkana Basin, has historically been the focus of extensive archaeological research. Mid-Late Pleistocene units have previously lacked defined sedimentary beds due to an understudied unconformity of the upper Chari Member (1.34 Ma to 10 Ka). This represents a substantial limit to Middle Stone Age (MSA) research. Recent fieldwork (2016) incorporated a geoarchaeological survey of the upper Chari Member. Here we describe and map the associated lithologies and stratigraphic markers of this sedimentary package. We identify a major unconformity in the upper Chari and correlate the stratigraphic and structural features of this sedimentary unit across space in Ileret. Importantly, we associate the angular unconformity that defines the lower boundary of this unit with in situ and deflated MSA artifacts. This sedimentary unit (SSM) underlies Holocene sediments and sits unconformably above volcanic ash, allowing a robust chronostratigraphic framework for the SSM and associated MSA artifacts. The study of SSM provides geoarchaeological and paleogeographical context regarding tectonic setting and controls of sedimentation during this time in the stratigraphic sequence of the KF Fm. This research was supported by IRES grants 1358178 and 1358200 from the U.S. National Science Foundation.


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Mapping MSA Deposits: Regional Geological Investigation of Upper Chari Member Sediments in the Ileret Region, East Turkana, Kenya. Shannon Warren, Michael Ziegler, Silindokuhle Mavuso, Tamara Dogandžic, Kathryn Ranhorn. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430164)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
AFRICA


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17165

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