78,000-year-old record of Middle and Later stone age innovation in an East African tropical forest
Shipton, Ceri; Roberts, Patrick; Archer, Will; Armitage, Simon J.; Bita, Caesar; Blinkhorn, James; Courtney-Mustaphi, Colin; Crowther, Alison; Curtis, Richard; d' Errico, Francesco; Douka, Katerina; Faulkner, Patrick; Groucutt, Huw S.; Helm, Richard; Herri
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 similar to 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.
Gold DOAJ, Green published, Green accepted
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