Early Holocene Maghreb prehistory: an evolutionary approach

Early Holocene Maghreb prehistory: an evolutionary approach

In this paper we have presented arevised model of cultural development in the early Holocene of the Maghreb using an evolutionary approach which focuses on adaptive processes rather than a diffusionist approach which emphasizes outside contact. In doing so we have argued the following points:

  • 1. There is continuity between the Ibero-maurusian and early Holocene industries of Algeria and Tunisia
  • 2. There is little evidence at present for influence, either cultural or biological ,from the east.
  • 3. During the early Holocene in Algeria and Tunisia two traditions developed from the Iberomaurusian; one located in the west (vicinity of Sétif and west) and the other in the east (eastern Constantine Plains and the Tébessa-Gafsa region).
  • 4. Variations within each of these traditions can probably be explained, at least in part, to functional or activity-related variation rather than ethnicity.
  • 5. A phase difference, which divides the Eastern tradition (and possibly theWestern tradition) into two chrono-logical periods (Early and LateCapsian), can be defined on the basis of technological differences in bladelet production.

The primary explanatory processesinvoked in our argument are: (1) adaptation to Late Pleistocene/Early Holo-cene environmental change; (2) the effects of relative geographical isolationon populations moving into a large land mass; and (S) descent with modification from slightly divergent (technologically) ancestor populations (western and eastern Iberomaurusian). We present this model as a hypothesis for examination in the hope that it willstimulate debate and lead to research designed to obtain the types of data(biological, environmental, technological/stylistic) needed to evaluate both it and alternate formulations.

 A paper about the the stone tool cultures in the Mahgreb. Knowing now that the neolithic did introduce some new people into the area, a possible combo of in situ development plus Neolithic influence is most likely for the Capsian culture, IMO.


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