Continuity in the Epipaleolithic of Northern Africa with Emphasis on the Maghreb

Another bookmarked item for my reference.

Html link (the pdf won’t load for me)

pdf link

Continuity in the Epipaleolithic of Northern Africa with Emphasis on the Maghreb

This article is primarily a review and reinterpretation of the Epipaleolithic pre-history of the Maghreb. However, in view of the similarities to other parts of North Africa, we include some discussion of areas outside the Maghreb proper, specifically Cyrenaica and the Nile Valley. Research on Maghreb prehistory hasbeen undertaken for close to a century. The vast majority of published information is in French and is not always familiar to or well understood by Anglophone scholars. Archaeology in the Maghreb has been dominated by a typological approach, both in terms of artifacts and human skeletal remains. This approach has provided most of the data from which our re-interpretations are derived. It has also, inevitably perhaps, fostered the division of prehistory into segments that, while they may have some reality for the archaeologist trying to under-stand the geographic and chronological patterning of remains, do not necessarily tell one very much about the cultural interrelationships of the people those remains represent. It is our basic contention in this essay that one should never propose direct correspondences between archaeological industries and ethnic groups, or “races,” without clear and indisputable evidence. Such correspondences have been made many times for the Maghreb and it is this, if nothing else, that we hope to show to be unlikely. Our basic premise throughout this essay is that differences have been emphasized over similarities and that theidentification of distinctions has been the preferred method of describing variability in the prehistoric record.

It’s got a lot of information on North African blade industries on it.

6 responses to “Continuity in the Epipaleolithic of Northern Africa with Emphasis on the Maghreb

  1. Very interesting paper certainly. I really tend to agree with point 2 of Lubell’s revised synthesis:

    If outside influences did occur, they are far more likely to have come from the Nile Valley during or prior to the Iberomaurusian than from the Near East, but it is equally likely that the Iberomaurusian influenced late Paleolithic developments in the Nile Valley

    What still has me really intrigued is the origins of Iberomaurusian/Oranian itself. The old theory suggested it was an offshot of Iberian cultures and from the dates it would seem to be from the peculiar Gravetto-Solutrean of southern Spain, which is still very much Cro-Magnon in its human typology, as is Iberomaurusian itself. As I have mentioned in some other occasion the highest diversity of mtDNA U6 in Iberia, as well as the presence of other Europe-related clades in North and East Africa, strongly suggests to me that the original Iberomaurusian theory (as something derived from Iberian cultures) may well still hold, so I really miss an analysis of early Iberomaurusian/Oranian and its possible typological links to either Iberian Gravetto-Solutrean or whatever other putative origins. My hypothesis is that Iberian Cro-Magnons colonized North Africa at that stage and reached as far East as the Nile (with whatever backflows later on, that I also think are very real) but without a clear archaeological consideration, I cannot be sure.

    Do you think that you could locate a good review of Iberomaurusian/Oranian origins? I’d just love to read such paper.

  2. The IM is supposed to be an evolution from the Halfan culture from upper Egypt/lower Nubia. I can’t locate anything on line that goes into it in detail.

    The West Asian origin of the Aterian seems to be pretty accepted genetically.

    There’s a mt type (L6?)that marks an ancient expansion from North Africa in Iberia, so I suspect the U went along with it.

    I really need to bone up on my stone tool cultures.

  3. “There’s a mt type (L6?)that marks an ancient expansion from North Africa in Iberia, so I suspect the U went along with it.

    I really need to bone up on my stone tool cultures.”

    Couldn’t it be that the Ibero-Marusians were trading Aterian women to the Basques? That would definitely explain the L6 and U6, as well as the fact that you don’t find North African lithics in Iberia.

    • African Y hg E1 also has a date into Iberia about 20k ago- there were population movements both ways about 20k ago.

  4. Does the E1 get into the Basques populations at that time, or into Iberia as a whole with no dominance in Basques?

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