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Korounkorokalé revisited: ThePays Mande and the West African microlithic technocomplex

Abstract

In 1992 and 1993, the author reexcavated the rockshelter of Korounkorokalé, located in the heart of the Pays Mande. Evidence from this reinvestigation supports the idea of a long-term recurrent occupation of this site by peoples possessing a conservative quartz microlithic tradition for at least 5000 years. Seemingly aberrant “recent” first millennium AD dates from similar sites in the region are reexamined in the light of the Korounkorokalé sequence. It is argued that some isolated groups of Sub-Saharan peoples maintained a hunting-gathering lifestyle as recently as the mid to late first millennium AD. Oral traditions among modern Savanna groups, which refer to the presence of “little peoples” at their first colonization of the region, are used to support this argument. A new model for the peopling of West Africa is presented based upon a long-term autochthonous presence south of the Sahara.

Resume

En 1992 et 1993, l’abri-sous-roche de Korounkorokalé, localisé au cour du Pays Mande, a été refouillé par Vauteur. Les données de ce réexamen soutiennent l’idée d’une occupation périodique de longue durée à ce site par des peuples possedant une industrie microlithique du quartz pendant au moins 5000 ans. Des datations apparemment aberrantes du premier millénaire aprés J-C, viennent des sites dans la meme région sont réexaminées dans la lumière de la séquence culturelle de Korounkorokalé. Il est proposé que quelques groupes isolés ont maintenu un mode de vie chasseur-cueilleur jusqu’à aussi récemment que la fin du premier millénaire après J-C. Les traditions orales parmi les groupes ethniques moderne de la Savanne, qui parlent de la présence des “petits-gens” au moment de leur arrivée dans la région, sont uilisées por soutenir cette argumentation. Un nouveau modèle pour le peuplement de l’Afrique de l’Ouest est presenté, fondé sur l’idée d’une présence à long terme de societiés indigènes au sud du Sahara.

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MacDonald, K.C. Korounkorokalé revisited: ThePays Mande and the West African microlithic technocomplex. African Archaeological Review 14, 161–200 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02968406

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Key Words

  • Korounkorokalé
  • Pays Mande
  • microliths
  • hunter-gatherers