Longstanding behavioural stability in West Africa extends to the Middle Pleistocene at Bargny, coastal Senegal.



Niang, Khady ORCID: 0000-0002-9281-5105, Blinkhorn, James ORCID: 0000-0002-9399-5515, Bateman, Mark D ORCID: 0000-0003-1756-6046 and Kiahtipes, Christopher A ORCID: 0000-0002-8758-4605
(2023) Longstanding behavioural stability in West Africa extends to the Middle Pleistocene at Bargny, coastal Senegal. Nature ecology & evolution, 7 (7). pp. 1141-1151.

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Abstract

Middle Stone Age (MSA) technologies first appear in the archaeological records of northern, eastern and southern Africa during the Middle Pleistocene epoch. The absence of MSA sites from West Africa limits evaluation of shared behaviours across the continent during the late Middle Pleistocene and the diversity of subsequent regionalized trajectories. Here we present evidence for the late Middle Pleistocene MSA occupation of the West African littoral at Bargny, Senegal, dating to 150 thousand years ago. Palaeoecological evidence suggests that Bargny was a hydrological refugium during the MSA occupation, supporting estuarine conditions during Middle Pleistocene arid phases. The stone tool technology at Bargny presents characteristics widely shared across Africa in the late Middle Pleistocene but which remain uniquely stable in West Africa to the onset of the Holocene. We explore how the persistent habitability of West African environments, including mangroves, contributes to distinctly West African trajectories of behavioural stability.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Archaeology, Fossils, Technology, Africa, Western, Senegal
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 May 2024 10:24
Last Modified: 07 May 2024 10:35
DOI: 10.1038/s41559-023-02046-4
Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-023-02046-4
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3180801