African archaeology by D W Phillipson

By D W Phillipson

During this absolutely revised and elevated variation of his seminal archaeological survey, David Phillipson provides a lucid, totally illustrated account of African prehistory, from the origins of humanity to the time of ecu colonisation, and demonstrates the relevance of archaeological learn to an figuring out of Africa today.

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15). 8 million years (L. S. B. Leakey 1965; M. D. Leakey 1971; Hay 1976; Johanson et al. 1987; Blumenschine and Masao 1991). 75 million years ago, remains of both hominids are found in association with concentrations of Oldowan stone artefacts. It is considered unlikely that members of two hominid genera would have occupied the same environmental niche at the same time and been engaged 40 afric an archaeolog y Fig. 15: Olduvai Gorge in the manufacture and use of apparently identical artefacts; although this argument is not conclusive, it is probably safe to assume that the Oldowan artefacts were the work of H.

Far to the west, in Chad, tooth and jaw fragments resembling those of Australopithecus afarensis have been published as A. bahrelghazali (Brunet et al. 1996), although doubts have subsequently been expressed about both the identification as a separate species and the dating (cf. Klein 1999). These discoveries in Chad, D. R. Congo and Malawi serve to emphasise the large part played by chance in securing the preservation of the earliest archaeological remains, and also the extent to which future research may radically alter our present knowledge.

6 million years ago (H. Roche and Tiercelin 1980; J. W. K. Harris 1983; Kimbel et al. 1996; Semaw 2000). Not far to the south, the Bouri area of the Middle Awash has yielded stone flakes and worked bone fragments from the same locality as remains attributed to A. 5 million years ago (Asfaw et al. 1999; de Heinzelin et al. 1999). These specimens and their associations await full investigation; should preliminary accounts be confirmed, these occurrences are by a substantial margin the earliest known incidence of hominid-made artefacts.

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