African Archaeological Review

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 57–72 | Cite as

Who were the latter Pleistocene eastern Africans?

  • L. A. Schepartz


A later Pleistocene Khoisan peopling of eastern Africa has been suggested by most researchers. The evidence cited consists of a few isolated crania, archaeological occurrences described as ‘Wilton’, rock paintings and scattered populations of present-day hunter-gatherers speaking languages with clicks and viewed as bearing some physical resemblances to living Khoisan groups. When these different lines of evidence are evaluated, it is clear that there is no strong basis for retaining the concept of later Pleistocene Khoisan populations in eastern Africa. Instead, the available data suggest that the later Pleistocene and Holocene eastern Africans were tall, linear peoples.


Cultural Study Strong Basis Scattered Population Physical Resemblance Rock Painting 
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La plupart des chercheurs proposent que l'est de l'Afrique a été peuplé pendant le Pléistocène tardif par des gens Khoisan. Les témoignages citées par ces auteurs consistent en quelques crânes isolés, des mobiliers archêologiques catégorisés comme du type ‘Wilton’, des peintures rupestres, et la répartition actuelle de quelques groupes sociaux bien parsemés de chasseurs-cueilleurs qui parlent des langues avec des claquements et qu'on pense à ressembler physiquement à quelques peuples Khoisan d'aujourd'hui. Quand ces lignes de raisonnement sont évaluées individualement, il se manifeste qu'il n'y a aucune base solide qui peut nous justifier à garder l'hypothèse de la présence des gens Khoisan dans l'est de l'Afrique pendant le Pléistocène tardif. Au contraire, les données disponibles nous amènent à penser que les gens est-africains au Pléistocène tardif ainsi qu'à l'Holocene étaient de haute taille et mince.


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© Cambridge University Press 1988

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  • L. A. Schepartz

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