Acheulean occurrence on the western periphery of the Red Sea (Sudan): Implications for hominin dispersal

Amanuel Beyin1, Parth Chauhan2

  1. Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentuky, USA;amanuel.beyin@louisville.edu
  2. Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, Punjab, India;

Abstract

The Red Sea basin occupies a crucial position as a potential nexus of hominin biographic movements between eastern Africa and Southwest Asia. Unfortunately, the region had seen little Stone Age-focused research in the past, hindering well-informed assessment of its contribution to hominin survival and dispersal. A recent archaeological reconnaissance in the Red Sea coastal region of the Republic of Sudan documented two Acheulean sites (named Hayna 01 and 02) and numerous isolated scatters of stone artifacts representing different technotypological features, such as points and prepared core products. The launching of this pioneering project was aimed at finding Paleolithic (Stone Age) sites that can inform us about Pleistocene hominin adaptations in the western peripheries of the Red Sea. Hayna 01 (HY01) will be the focus of this presentation. The site is located c.35 km from the coast (18.130N, 37.820E) on an elongated outcrop of alluvial fan breccia at the mouth of a fault-bound valley adjoining the Red Sea Hills. It has produced a lithic assemblage characterized by a classic bifacial technology referable to the Acheulean technocomplex or Mode 2 technology. This paper will discuss raw material selectivity, blank choice, manner of bifacial shaping and size variability in the Acheulean Industry at HY01. The Hayna discovery represents the first characteristic and richest-known Acheulean occurrence in the western periphery of the Red Sea basin north of the Danakil Depression, and offers a critically needed baseline to establish the region as a viable destination and dispersal conduit for hominins.


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 Red Sea coast; Sudan; Acheulean Industry; hominin dispersal;
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