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African Archaeological Review

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 77–102 | Cite as

Palaeolithic chert exploitation in the limestone stretch of the Egyptian Nile Valley

  • Pierre M. Vermeersch
  • Etienne Paulissen
  • Philip Van Peer
Article

Abstract

Different raw material procurement strategies are attested in the limestone stretch of the Egyptian Nile Valley. Chert cobbles from Nile terraces or from their derived deposits were generally used. Four main procurement strategies have been recognized. During the Middle Palaeolithic intensive surface collecting was the most common strategy. However, open quarrying techniques involving features such as ditches are also attested. True subterranean mining with vertical shafts and underground galleries was known by the Early Upper Palaeolithic at 35,000 years BP. Extracted nodules were processed at the procurement sites. The study of the reduction strategies has proved valuable in gaining a better understanding of the Palaeolithic sequence of the Egyptian Nile Valley.

Keywords

Cultural Study Reduction Strategy Common Strategy Material Procurement Main Procurement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Résumé

Différentes stratégies d'obtention de matière première ont été reconnues dans la zone calcaire de la vallée du Nil égyptien. En majorité, ce sont des galets de chert qui ont été utilisés. Les stratégies d'obtention se classent en quatre types. Au Paléolithique Moyen la méthode la plus fréquente était la collection intensive en surface. Mais il y eut aussi une technique d'exploitation en profondeur, à l'aide de tranchées à ciel ouvert. Une véritable extraction minière avec des puits verticaux et des galleries souterraines fut pratiquée dès le début du Paléolithique Supérieur, vers 35.000 BP. Les galets extraits étaient réduits sur les sites d'exploitation mêmes. L'étude des processus de réduction nous a permis de mieux comprendre la séquence paléolithique de la vallée du Nil égyptien.

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Copyright information

© Cambridge University Press 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre M. Vermeersch
  • Etienne Paulissen
  • Philip Van Peer

There are no affiliations available

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