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Journal Article

Variability in the Middle Stone Age of Eastern Africa

Christian A. Tryon and J. Tyler Faith
Current Anthropology
Vol. 54, No. S8, Alternative Pathways to Complexity: Evolutionary Trajectories in the Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age (December 2013), pp. S234-S254
DOI: 10.1086/673752
Stable URL:
Page Count: 21
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Eastern Africa is an important area to study early populations of Homo sapiens because subsets of those populations likely dispersed to Eurasia and subsequently throughout the globe during the Upper Pleistocene. The Middle Stone Age (MSA) archaeology of this region, particularly aspects of stone-tool technology and typology, is highly variable with only rare cases of geographic and temporal patterning. Although there are differences in timing and perhaps frequency of occurrence, those elements that make up the MSA lithic tool kit are also found at contemporaneous sites elsewhere in Africa and Eurasia, making it difficult to identify a unique archaeological signal for hominin dispersals out of eastern Africa. Rather, regional variation appears to be the outcome of possibly long-term interactions between particular physical and social environments experienced by hominin populations.

Notes and References

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