78,000-year-old record of Middle and Later stone age innovation in an East African tropical forest

Ceri Shipton, Patrick Roberts, Will Archer, Simon J Armitage, Caesar Bita, James Blinkhorn, Colin Courtney-Mustaphi, Alison Crowther, Richard Curtis, Francesco d'Errico, Katerina Douka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The Middle to Later Stone Age transition in Africa has been debated as a significant shift in human technological, cultural, and cognitive evolution. However, the majority of research on this transition is currently focused on southern Africa due to a lack of long-term, stratified sites across much of the African continent. Here, we report a 78,000-year-long archeological record from Panga ya Saidi, a cave in the humid coastal forest of Kenya. Following a shift in toolkits ~67,000 years ago, novel symbolic and technological behaviors assemble in a non-unilinear manner. Against a backdrop of a persistent tropical forest-grassland ecotone, localized innovations better characterize the Late Pleistocene of this part of East Africa than alternative emphases on dramatic revolutions or migrations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-8pp
    JournalNature Communications
    Volume9
    Issue number1832
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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