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Multi-emission luminescence dating of heated chert from the Middle Stone Age sequence at Sodmein Cave (Red Sea Mountains, Egypt)

Abstract

Sodmein Cave in Egypt is one of the rare archaeological sites in north-eastern Africa conserving human occupation remains of a period most relevant for the ‘Out of Africa II’ hypothesis. This underlines the need for establishing a chronological framework for the more than 4 m of stratified sediments ranging from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) to the Neolithic. The lowest layer J hosts huge fireplaces, from which we report luminescence ages of heated chert fragments unearthed from different depths. The ‘multiemission’ dating approach e using both the blue and red TL of each specimen as well as the OSL emission of one sample e allowed identifying the most reliable ages. Samples yield ages between <121 ± 15 ka (maximum age) and 87 ± 9 ka. These data evidence human presence at the site during MIS 5. For integrating Sodmein Cave into the actual discussion of the dispersal patterns of modern humans and to identify potential connections with other sites in the Nile Valley and in the Middle East, a sound and reliable chronology is indispensable.

Bibliography

Schmidt, C., Kindermann, K., van Peer, P., Bubenzer, O. (2015): Multi-emission luminescence dating of heated chert from the Middle Stone Age sequence at Sodmein Cave (Red Sea Mountains, Egypt). Elsevier – In: Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 63, p: 94-103, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.08.016

Authors Schmidt, Christoph and Kindermann, Karin and van Peer, Philip and Bubenzer, Olaf
Type article
Title Multi-emission luminescence dating of heated chert from the Middle Stone Age sequence at Sodmein Cave (Red Sea Mountains, Egypt)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.08.016
Journal Journal of Archaeological Science
Year 2015
Volume 63
Pages 94-103
Publisher Elsevier
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