The Oldowan and the Acheulian Archaeological records at Gona, Ethiopia

Miroslaw Masojc1, Ahmed Hamid Nassr2, Ju Yong Kim3

  1. Institute of Archaeology, University of Wroclaw, Poland;
  2. Department of Archaeology, Al Neelain University, Khartoum, Sudan,
  3. Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon (KIGAM), Korea


An agglomeration of Pleistocene localities has been discovered lately in Eastern Desert in Sudan. Due to impulsive gold mining activities several stratified Acheulean sites as well as MSA sites had been exposed and consequently documented there. The current project concerns geoarchaeological investigations aimed at clarification of age and specifics of the oldest archaeological sites in this part of Africa. The environment of the sites in the lower Atbara River basin is characterized by an ephemeral braided stream suitable for human occupation until climatic deterioration under the sustaining drought advents in Sahara. Responding to Quaternary climatic changes, hominin dispersal was channelled through a vegetated corridor ofthe Atbara river basin, possibly from the middle towards the downstream part during the pluvial or interglacial periods since the Middle Pleistocene. The Acheulean in Nubia/Sudan is dated to its late phase, possibly the end of the middle phase in the case of the sites from the area on the upper reaches of the Atbara. This newly discovered agglomeration of stratified Late Acheulean sites is perhaps evidence of one of the directions of hominin migration towards Eurasia, which may have run downstream along the Atbara towards the Red Sea and then either along the coast or through the Red Sea Hills towards the north to the Sinai Peninsula or southwards to the Bab-el-Mandab Strait. The existence of such paths has also been recently confirmed by the presence of Acheulean localities both in the Red Sea Hills and in the coastal region of the Sudan.

Subject Communication
Language of text English
Topics AFR.001: Recent Advances in Early Stone Age Studies in Africa, New Insights on the Oldowan and the Acheulian Stone Technology
Keywords Sudan; Acheulian; Early Paleolithic; palaeoenvironment; hominin dispersal;
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