P. Van Peer, P. Vermeersch, and E. Paulissen, Chert Quarrying, Lithic Technology, and a Modern Human Burial at the Palaeolithic Site of Taramsa 1, Upper Egypt
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The Egyptian Nile Valley, such an important human habitat from Predynastic times onward, may have been unattractive for settlers through much of the Pleistocene. Almost no living sites are known: either they are destroyed, buried under alluvium, or they never existed. Instead, most of our information comes from quarries and workshop sites located well back from the river near outcrops of good quality lithic raw material. Since 1976, work has been conducted by the Belgian Middle Egypt Prehistoric Project of Leuven University on a series of such sites in the vicinity of Qena. This publication deals with one of these sites, Taramsa 1, which has a sequence spanning the Middle Stone Age and beyond. The volume shows just how much information on the past can be gleaned from a quarry site by careful excavation and meticulous analysis of the lithic technology, and the work ultimately sheds light on such larger issues as the origins of modern human behaviour and the ‘Out of Africa’ question.
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