Hunter-Gatherer Responses to the "Early" African Humid Period ~15-12 ka
Recent paleoclimate studies indicate rainfall increased dramatically over many parts of northeastern and eastern Africa at the end of MIS 2 and the hyper-arid LGM ~14.7 ka, thereby marking the beginning of MIS 1 and the "African Humid Period" (AHP). These studies also suggest that not only should the "early" AHP be decoupled from the start of the Holocene some 3000 years later, it should also encompass the cooler, more arid Younger Dryas (12.9-11.7 ka). This paper explores two key questions: 1) can we identify archaeological evidence for hunter-gatherer activities in this region during the early AHP ~15-12 ka; and 2) if so are there technological, settlement, dietary and other behavioral changes that can be linked to climatic change or other possible causal mechanisms? A preliminary review of the early AHP archaeological record shows that despite a small data set and a limited number of chronometric ages, there appears to be few sites in the Nile Valley, while in eastern Africa there are substantially more. We conclude by discussing how a richer understanding of the early AHP archaeological record might better prepare and inform us of the significant human responses to the later part of the AHP ~12-5.5 ka.
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Hunter-Gatherer Responses to the "Early" African Humid Period ~15-12 ka. Steven Brandt, Alice Leplongeon, Clément Ménard. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444677)
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min long: 32.432; min lat: -5.003 ; max long: 54.053; max lat: 18.062 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21316