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90,000 year-old specialised bone technology in the Aterian Middle Stone Age of North Africa

Bouzouggar, A; Humphrey, LT; Barton, N; Parfitt, SA; Balzan, LC; Schwenninger, J-L; El Hajraoui, MA; ... Bello, SM; + view all (2018) 90,000 year-old specialised bone technology in the Aterian Middle Stone Age of North Africa. PLOS ONE , 13 (10) , Article e0202021. 10.1371/journal.pone.0202021. Green open access

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Abstract

The question of cognitive complexity in early Homo sapiens in North Africa is intimately tied to the emergence of the Aterian culture (~145 ka). One of the diagnostic indicators of cognitive complexity is the presence of specialised bone tools, however significant uncertainty remains over the manufacture and use of these artefacts within the Aterian techno-complex. In this paper we report on a bone artefact from Aterian Middle Stone Age (MSA) deposits in Dar es-Soltan 1 cave on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. It comes from a layer that can be securely dated to ~90 ka. The typological characteristics of this tool, which suggest its manufacture and use as a bone knife, are comparatively similar to other bone artefacts from dated Aterian levels at the nearby site of El Mnasra and significantly different from any other African MSA bone technology. The new find from Dar es-Soltan 1 cave combined with those from El Mnasra suggest the development of a bone technology unique to the Aterian.

Type: Article
Title: 90,000 year-old specialised bone technology in the Aterian Middle Stone Age of North Africa
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202021
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202021
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Paleoanthropology, Archaeology, Optically stimulated, luminescence, Ribs, Stratigraphy, Sediment, Mammals, Scanning electron mic
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060927
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