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African Archaeological Review

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 1–24 | Cite as

Continental Patterns in Stone Tools: A Technological and Biplot-Based Comparison of Early Late Pleistocene Assemblages from Northern and Southern Africa

  • S. WurzEmail author
  • P. Van Peer
  • N. le Roux
  • S. Gardner
  • H. J. Deacon
Article

Abstract

The technology of the end products i.e. blades and points in Late Pleistocene stone artefact assemblages from Klasies River, South Africa, and the Nile Valley, Egypt, are compared. The comparison includes univariate and multivariate analysis of metrical attributes enhanced by graphical biplot displays. The end products in these assemblages are either dominantly points or blades and this is related to the core reduction strategy adopted. The MSA 11 from Klasies River and the Nubian Complex industry from the Nile Valley are point industries made in the Levallois tradition, while the MSA 1 from Klasies River and the Taramsan from the Nile Valley may be non-Levallois or adapted Levallois blade industries. Dating of the assemblages shows the changes between dominant core reduction strategies are sequential and time restricted in both South and North Africa. It is concluded that variability of the same kind occurs in Middle Stone Age and Middle Palaeolithic assemblages south and north of the Sahara in the early Late Pleistocene.

Dans cet article, les technologies des produits recherchés, des lames et des pointes, pour certains ensembles lithiques de Klasies River, Afrique du Sud et la Vallée du Nil, Egypte, sont comparées. Cette comparaison implique des analyses univariées et multivariées de variables métriques biplot. Les produits recherchés sont bien des pointes que des lames, selon les stratégies d’exploitation adoptées. Le MSA II de Klasies River et le Complexe nubien de la Vallée du Nil sont des industries à pointes issues de la tradition Levallois. Par contre, le MSA I de Klasies River et le Taramsien de la Vallée du Nil évoquent une technologie de production non-Levallois ou Levallois modifiée. Les éléments de datation disponibles indiquent que les changements dans la prépondérance des stratégies d’exploitation s’enchaînent dans une séquence chronologique bien identifiable, aussibien dans l’Afrique du Sud que l’Afrique du Nord. On arrive à la conclusion qu’une variabilité du même caractère est attestée dans les ensembles du Middle Stone Age et du Paléolithique moyen au sud et au nord du Sahara, pendant le Pléistocène supérieur ancien.

Keywords

MSA/MP Klasies River Nile Valley biplot discriminant analysis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Wurz
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • P. Van Peer
    • 2
  • N. le Roux
    • 3
  • S. Gardner
    • 3
  • H. J. Deacon
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental StudiesUniversity of StellenboschMatielandSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of ArchaeologyCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Statistics and Actuarial ScienceUniversity of StellenboschMatielandSouth Africa
  4. 4.StellenboschSouth Africa
  5. 5.Department of Geography and Environmental StudiesUniversity of StellenboschMatielandSouth Africa

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