Lithic Analysis of GaJj17: a Middle Stone Age Locality in Koobi Fora, northern Kenya


The Koobi Fora region in eastern Turkana, northern Kenya, is known for its preservation of Plio-Pleistocene hominin fossils. However very little is known about the Middle Stone Age (MSA) from this region. Fossil and genetic evidence suggest modern humans originated in eastern Africa ~200ka, adding to the significance of this time period and region. In 2016, we excavated site GaJj17, an MSA site located in Area 104 of Koobi Fora. Here we present lithic analysis of recovered in situ and surface artifacts, building on the work of Alison Kelly (1996). These data points were used to understand the overall lithic technology and how they were affected by taphonomic forces. This research showed differences in raw material composition across the site: igneous rocks are more common in situ, and cryptocrystalline silicates (CCS) were more abundant on the surface. This may represent a disparity in collection method, with differential weathering of surface volcanics leading to over-collection of CCS. Reduction intensity analyses indicate that both were produced in the early stage of reduction. Finally, we document the presence of in situ Levallois technology.

Cite this Record

Lithic Analysis of GaJj17: a Middle Stone Age Locality in Koobi Fora, northern Kenya. Logan Van Hagen, Kathryn Ranhorn, Tamara Dogandžic, David Braun. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430618)

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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): 17420