Friday, January 21, 2022

Not Just a Corridor: Human occupation of the Nile Valley and neighbouring regions between 75,000 and 15,000 years ago

Not Just a Corridor
Natures en sociétés
  • Publisher : Publications scientifiques du Muséum
  • Series : Natures en sociétés | 3
  • Place of publication : Paris
  • Year of publication : 2020
  • Published on OpenEdition Books : 20 janvier 2022
  • EAN (Print version) : 9782856539316
  • Electronic EAN : 9782856539323
  • Number of pages : 364 p.

The end of the Pleistocene (c. 75-15 ka) is a key period for the prehistory of the Nile Valley. The climatic fluctuations documented during this period have led human populations from the Middle and Late Palaeolithic to adapt to a changing Nile. In particular, the global shift to more arid conditions regionally translated into the expansion of the Sahara, the lowering of sea levels and the desiccation of some major eastern African lakes. These climatically-induced environmental changes influenced the behaviour of the Nile —although how exactly is still debated— and its role as an ecological refugium for human populations living in its vicinity. Genetic and fossil evidence highlight a strong population substructure in Africa during this period, suggesting the alternation of phases of major dispersals of modern humans within the continent, as well as out-of and back-into Africa, with phases of relative isolation of populations, which might be linked to the creation of environmental refugia during the climatic fluctuations of this period. Understanding to what extent the technological variability observed in north-eastern Africa between 75,000 and 15,000 years ago is linked to environmental changes and/or possible contacts between different human populations is critical in this context. The best-preserved evidence for past human behavior are archaeological assemblages, most often lithic assemblages. However, the use of different terminologies, whether they refer to cultural or techno-typological entities, hampers any systematic comparison between the Nile Valley on one hand and neighbouring regions on the other hand. An outcome of this practice is the artificial ‘isolation’ of the north-eastern African record from its neighbouring regions. This monograph groups together chapters presenting updated reviews and new data on regional archaeological, palaeoenvironmental, palaeoanthropological and geological records from north-eastern Africa, North Africa, the Levant and eastern Africa for the period ranging from 75,000 to 15,000 years ago. While north-eastern Africa, and the Nile Valley in particular, is generally considered as one of the main possible routes of migrations out of Africa, few recent studies allow the data from this region to be viewed from a macro-regional perspective. This book allows the exploration of topical issues, such as modern humans’ capacity for adaptation, particularly in the context of climate change, as well as population interactions and human dispersals in the past, taking a multidisciplinary approach.


Alice Leplongeon, Mae Goder-Goldberger and David Pleurdeau

The Nile Valley: environmental refugium or corridor of dispersals?

Part 1. The Nile Valley and adjacent deserts

Martin Williams
Water, wind, ice and sea

Prehistoric environments in the Nile Basin between 75,000 and 15,000 years

De l’eau, du vent, de la glace et la mer : environnements préhistoriques dans le bassin du Nil entre 75 000 et 15 000 ans

Maxine R. Kleindienst, Mary M.A. McDonald, Anne R. Skinner et al.
Evidence for Pleistocene habitability and occupations in the Western Desert of Egypt, MIS 4 through early MIS 2

Indication d’habitabilité et occupation du Désert Occidental de l’Egypte au Pléistocène, depuis le MIS 4 jusqu’au MIS 2

Romuald Schild, Christopher L. Hill and Andrzej Bluszcz
Age of the Late Middle Palaeolithic Nile aggradation

The Khormusan and the Atmur El Kibeish Aterian

Age de l’aggradation du Paléolithique moyen du Nil, du Khormusien et de l’Atérien de l’Atmur El Kibeish

Elena A.A. Garcea
The Sudanese Nile Valley

The ultimate frontiers of the Aterian and the northern and southern Out of Africa routes of early anatomically modern humans

La Vallée du Nil soudanaise : les frontières finales de l’Atérien et les routes du nord et du sud lors de l’Out of Africa des premiers Hommes anatomiquement modernes

Piotr Osypiński
Upper Nubia and beyond during the Terminal Pleistocene

New premises for the late occurrence of the Middle Stone Age

La Haute Nubie et au-delà pendant le Pléistocène terminal — nouveaux prémisses pour la présence tardive du Middle Stone Age

Pierre M. Vermeersch
Human occupation density and mobility in the lower Nile Valley

(75,000‑15,000 years ago)

Densité d’occupation humaine et mobilité dans la Basse Vallée du Nil (75 000-15 000 ans)

Part 2. Neighbouring regions: North Africa, eastern Africa and the Levant

Abdeljalil Bouzouggar, Louise Humphrey and Nick Barton
Cultural transitions in the Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age records of Northwest Africa

An overview from Morocco

La transition culturelle entre le Middle Stone Age et le Later Stone Age en Afrique du Nord-Ouest : l’apport des enregistrements du Maroc

Eslem Ben Arous, Christophe Falguères, Roland Nespoulet et al.
Review of chronological data from the Rabat-Témara caves (Morocco)

Implications for understanding human occupation in north-west Africa during the Late Pleistocene

Synthèse des données chronologiques des grottes de Rabat-Témara (Maroc) : implications pour la compréhension des occupations humaines en Afrique du Nord-Ouest au cours du Pléistocène récent

Lucy Farr, Robyn Inglis and Graeme Barker
Sedimentary and Human Responses to Aridity in Mediterranean Caves

The MIS 4‑2 Record of the Haua Fteah (Cyrenaica, Northeast Libya)

Réponses sédimentaires et adaptations des populations humaines aux phases arides du climat dans les grottes du Bassin méditerranéen : les enregistrements des MIS 4-2 à Haua Fteah (Cyrénaïque, Libye du Nord-Est)

Mae Goder-Goldberger
The Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition as seen from Far’ah II and Boker Tachtit, Israel

Does it relate to the Nile Valley?

La transition du Paléolithique moyen au Paléolithique supérieure vue depuis Far’ah II et Boker Tachtit, Israël : a-t-elle un lien avec la Vallée du Nil ?

Ofer Marder and A. Nigel Goring-Morris
The Lithic Technologies of the Epipalaeolithic Hunter-Gatherers in the Negev, Israel

Implications from Refitting Studies

Les technologies lithiques des chasseurs-cueilleurs épipaléolithiques du Negev, Israël : Implications à partir d’études de remontages

Alice Leplongeon, Clément Ménard, Katja Douze et al.
The Horn of Africa at the end of the Pleistocene (75‑12 ka) in its macroregional context

La Corne de l’Afrique à la fin du Pléistocène (75-12 ka) dans son contexte macro-régional

Mae Goder-Goldberger, Alice Leplongeon and David Pleurdeau

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