Ethiopian site sheds new light on human behaviour in the Middle and Late Stone Age
Recent sedimentological and dating results from the sequence of Goda Buticha cave, southeastern Ethiopia, yield new data on human occupation of the region during the period 65,000 to 1,000 years ago.
|A view of Kunama village from Buticha cave [Credit: Zelalem Assefa]|
An international team of researchers from Ethiopia, France, Israel and the USA have recently published in journal PLOS ONE the results of an extensive sedimentological and geochronological study at the Goda Buticha cave, in southeastern Ethiopia. The site has yielded a rich assemblage of stone artefacts, assigned to the Middle Stone Age in its lower sequence and to the Later Stone Age in the upper part of the sequence.
|The Horn of Africa with location of Goda Buticha and sites mentioned in the text|
[Credit: C. Tribolo et al in PLOS ONE]
The study used detailed sedimentological analyses of the sequence, the chronology of which was framed and refined by a combination of Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of the sediments and radiocarbon dating of charcoal. The team thus documented a securely-dated archaeological sequence with ages ranging from ca. 65,000 to 1,000 years ago.
|Lithic artefacts from Complex I and Layers IIc and IId-IIf of Goda Buticha |
[Credit: Tribolo, C. et al in PLOS ONE]
Co-author Dr Alice Leplongeon, researcher at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge commented, “We know very little about Modern Humans who lived in the Horn of Africa between 70,000 and 5,000 years ago. Goda Buticha contributes to fill this gap as it is one of the rare sites in the Horn of Africa with dates ranging from 65,000 to 1,000 years ago. In addition, the hiatus in the sequence suggests that human occupation may not have been possible, at least locally, during the driest episodes of the period."
Source: University of Cambridge [February 02, 2017]