Site Formation Analysis of Middle Stone Age Locality GaJj17 in the Koobi Fora Formation, Northern Kenya


The Koobi Fora Formation (KF Fm.) of the Turkana Basin in Kenya is comprised of a Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary sequence that has produced unprecedented paleoanthropological discoveries. Previous work in the KF Fm. reported an archaeological locality, GaJj17, exhibiting in situ Middle Stone Age (MSA) material eroding from an indurated sandstone. Understanding the depositional context of this locality required further geologic study as few MSA localities are represented in the KF Fm. This is due to the extensive unconformity between the youngest Mbr. of the KF Fm., (Chari Mbr. <1.39 Ma) and the overlying Galana Boi Fm. (<10 ka). Renewed excavations at GaJi17 allowed for sedimentary facies analyses, revealing associated aeolian and fluvial lithofacies. We further evaluate the depositional history of the archaeological horizon using standard fabric analysis of archaeological materials. Geochronological studies were also conducted (e.g. optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon). Performing the geochemical (XRF) identification of a tuff that underlies the archaeological horizon provides further geochronological control. Mineralogical and petrographic studies of the surrounding sediments provide an understanding of the depositional context and sediment provenance. This research was supported by the NSF International Research Experience for Students (OISE 1358178 and 1358200).

Cite this Record

Site Formation Analysis of Middle Stone Age Locality GaJj17 in the Koobi Fora Formation, Northern Kenya. Michael Ziegler, Shannon Warren, Ssebuyungo Christopher, Silindokuhle Mavuso, Kathryn Ranhorn. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430455)

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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): 16988