The Early Holocene human peopling in North Africa extended from the Mediterranean coasts to the mountain ranges of the Central Sahara. This paper focuses on the cultural developments in the Central Sahara, where the present author carried out research since 1990. Two distinct cultural and chronological horizons were identified before the emergence of subsistence strategies based on food production. The earlier horizon was first named "Epipalaeolithic", the later one "Mesolithic". These terms were derived from Mediterranean-biased terms, which resulted to be inappropriate for the North African context. Research in North Africa was long biased by Mediterranean cultural frameworks, which viewed the production of pottery and polished stone tools as evidence for "Neolithic" cultures. As a consequence, the "Epipalaeolithic", which already yielded the first ceramic and polished stone artefacts, was assimilated with the "Mesolithic", and these two with the "Pastoral Neolithic". In order to avoid such a confusion and to point out the specificities featured by these horizons, new terms have been suggested, namely "Early Acacus" for the earlier horizon, and "Late Acacus" for the later horizon, after their identification in the Tadrart Acacus mountain range in the Libyan Sahara. The Late Acacus, in particular, featured a number of innovations towards a stronger enculturation of the landscape. With regard to technology, pottery became frequent. Polished grindstones, animal bone tools, ostrich eggshell artefacts, wooden tools, and vegetable artefacts were systematically produced and became a distinctive feature of the Late Acacus. As for the economy, local resources were usually preferred and intensively exploited. Techniques for Barbary sheep taming were practised and were clearly attested to the sites. Wild grasses were intensively collected, exploited, and stored. Plant cultivation of wild cereals was also documented. Furthermore, changes in site organisations and settlement patterns could be observed in the shift from the Early to the Late Acacus. Sites became larger and showed a marked intra-site spatial organisation. Mobility decreased, although long-distance trading was developed.

Cultural convergences of northern Europe and North Africa during the Early Holocene?

GARCEA, Elena Antonella Alda
2003

Abstract

The Early Holocene human peopling in North Africa extended from the Mediterranean coasts to the mountain ranges of the Central Sahara. This paper focuses on the cultural developments in the Central Sahara, where the present author carried out research since 1990. Two distinct cultural and chronological horizons were identified before the emergence of subsistence strategies based on food production. The earlier horizon was first named "Epipalaeolithic", the later one "Mesolithic". These terms were derived from Mediterranean-biased terms, which resulted to be inappropriate for the North African context. Research in North Africa was long biased by Mediterranean cultural frameworks, which viewed the production of pottery and polished stone tools as evidence for "Neolithic" cultures. As a consequence, the "Epipalaeolithic", which already yielded the first ceramic and polished stone artefacts, was assimilated with the "Mesolithic", and these two with the "Pastoral Neolithic". In order to avoid such a confusion and to point out the specificities featured by these horizons, new terms have been suggested, namely "Early Acacus" for the earlier horizon, and "Late Acacus" for the later horizon, after their identification in the Tadrart Acacus mountain range in the Libyan Sahara. The Late Acacus, in particular, featured a number of innovations towards a stronger enculturation of the landscape. With regard to technology, pottery became frequent. Polished grindstones, animal bone tools, ostrich eggshell artefacts, wooden tools, and vegetable artefacts were systematically produced and became a distinctive feature of the Late Acacus. As for the economy, local resources were usually preferred and intensively exploited. Techniques for Barbary sheep taming were practised and were clearly attested to the sites. Wild grasses were intensively collected, exploited, and stored. Plant cultivation of wild cereals was also documented. Furthermore, changes in site organisations and settlement patterns could be observed in the shift from the Early to the Late Acacus. Sites became larger and showed a marked intra-site spatial organisation. Mobility decreased, although long-distance trading was developed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/5433
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