By D. W. Phillipson David W. Phillipson

David Phillipson offers an illustrated account of African prehistory, from the origins of humanity via ecu colonization during this revised and accelerated variation of his unique paintings. Phillipson considers Egypt and North Africa of their African context, comprehensively reviewing the archaeology of West, East, primary and Southern Africa. His e-book demonstrates the relevance of archaeological examine to figuring out modern Africa and stresses the continent's contribution to the cultural historical past of humankind.

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In the absence of volcanic material suitable for potassium/argon analysis, direct dating of these cave deposits has rarely proved possible, although study of the faunal remains has enabled them to be set in sequence and tentatively correlated with the dated East African succession (Howell 1982; Klein 1999). 0 million years ago (Walter and Aronson 1982) come mainly from three parts of the Rift Valley in eastern Africa: Hadar and the Middle Awash areas of Ethiopia some 500 kilometres northnortheast of Addis Ababa, the Lake Turkana Basin astride the Ethiopia/Kenya border (discussed in a separate section below), and Laetoli in northern Tanzania.

It must also be stressed that the earliest tools are not easily recognisable in the archaeological record: only stone artefacts are generally preserved and, in most circumstances, readily recognised. Modern apes use, by preference, a range of more perishable but more easily worked materials, and there is no reason to believe that early hominids were different in this regard. ) There is no reason to suppose that early tools were made from stone before or in preference to those of other materials.

The Hadar discoveries are additionally important as providing the best sample of postcranial remains belonging to any eastern African australopithecine population. The same deposits at Laetoli included layers of hardened ash-covered mud in which were preserved a remarkable series of footprints of hominids and other creatures (Fig. 12), supplementing the evidence of the fossil bones that A. afarensis had a fully bipedal gait. No artefacts have been recovered from the Laetoli deposits, but at Hadar and in the Middle Awash Basin small numbers of apparently artificially flaked cobbles (Fig.

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