African Archaeological Review

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 213–230 | Cite as

Holocene Palaeoclimates of Africa

  • Fekri A. Hassan


Examination of climatic inferences based on palynological, geomorphic, sedimentological, and other proxy data reveals a coherent picture of a generally wet early Holocene and drier conditions, with a time-transgressive clinal change commencing ca, 4500 B.P. The large-scale climatic periods in Africa during the Late Quaternary were interrupted by abrupt oscillations and rapid transitions. The magnitude and direction of climatic changes show distinct regional variation. However, in the monsoon-domain areas, abrupt drought events occurred conspicuously at ca. 12,000–11,500, 8500, 7500, 4500, 4000–3700, and 2000 uncalibrated radiocarbon years B.P. Further investigations are required to gain a more precise chronology of these events, which appear to have been crucial for some of the most salient developments in Africa's prehistory.

paleoclimate paleoenvironment paleoecology models Holocene Africa 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fekri A. Hassan
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ArchaeologyUniversity College LondonLondonEngland

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