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A new MIS3 radiocarbon chronology for Mochena Borago Rockshelter, SW Ethiopia: Implications for the interpretation of Late Pleistocene chronostratigraphy and human behavior

Abstract

With excavated layers spanning a period from N49 ka to ~36 ka, Mochena Borago Rockshelter reveals a complex sequence of Late Pleistocene human occupation punctuated by volcanic events. Fifty-nine radiocarbon ages make Mochena Borago one of the best-dated Late Pleistocene archaeological sites in eastern and northeastern Africa. However, complex site formation processes, dramatic stratigraphic differences between non-contiguous excavation areas, and “outlier” dates that appear in various parts of Mochena Borago's sequence, complicate efforts to develop a secure and detailed chronology for local and regional behavioral changes. This article focuses on contiguous
squares within the Block Excavation Area (BXA) trench at the northern end of the shelter. Bayesian
modeling of thirty-seven dates from six major lithostratigraphic units within the BXA yields a revised series of age ranges; these differ from the previous age model (derived from weighted means) in subtle but important ways. Perspectives gained through Bayesian analysis stimulate more careful consideration of the complex site formation processes operating at Mochena Borago, the contextual integrity of the site's robust and distinctive flaked stone artifact assemblages (lithics), and potential correlations between lithic changes and environmental events that occur on local, regional, and global scales. As these factors comeinto focus, Mochena Borago can serve as an important chronological benchmark to better understand human behavior in eastern and northeastern Africa around the time of the second major dispersal of Homo sapiens.

Resources

pdf Brandt et al. 2017.pdf Accessed 14 times | Last updated 26.10.2018

Bibliography

Brandt, S., Hildebrand, E., Vogelsang, R., Wolfhagen, J., Wang, H. (2017): A new MIS3 radiocarbon chronology for Mochena Borago Rockshelter, SW Ethiopia: Implications for the interpretation of Late Pleistocene chronostratigraphy and human behavior. Elsevier – In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Vol. 11, p: 352-369, DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.09.013

Authors Brandt, Steven and Hildebrand, Elisabeth and Vogelsang, Ralf and Wolfhagen, Jesse and Wang, Hong
Type article
Title A new MIS3 radiocarbon chronology for Mochena Borago Rockshelter, SW Ethiopia: Implications for the interpretation of Late Pleistocene chronostratigraphy and human behavior
DOI 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.09.013
Journal Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Year 2017
Volume 11
Pages 352-369
Publisher Elsevier
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