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Ounjougou, Mali : new data on bifacial point production in the southern Sahara during the Middle Holocene

Published inJournal of African archaeology, vol. 5, no. 1, p. 3-15
Publication date2007
Abstract

To date, archaeological sites dated between the 7th and 4th millennia cal BC are rare in West Africa. The Neolithic workshop of Promontoire at Ounjougou, Mali, had specialized in the bifacial shaping of armatures on sandstone, a local raw material. This industry was discovered in the upper section of a sequence of mixed fine red loess, dated near the site within an interval between the 6th and 4th millennia cal BC (OSL date of 6.3 ± 0.8 ka), while the geomorphological analysis of the zone and the insertion of the site into neighbouring sequences by radiocarbon dating yield a terminus ante quem of 3500 cal BC, confirming the attribution of the sequence to the Middle Holocene. While typological similarities exist between this bifacial industry and those of the Tilemsi Valley, the Windé Koroji, in southwest Nigeria and the Kintampo culture in Ghana, there remains a significant chronological discrepancy. Moreover, the archaeological material from West African sites contemporaneous with Promontoire Néolithique is most often characterized by a microlithic industry. In the present state of knowledge, the industry of Promontoire Néolithique, chronologically isolated, falls within a dynamic of population movement or influences preceding the current aridity, perhaps as-sociated with climatic changes that took place during the Middle Holocene between the 6th and 3rd millennia cal BC.

Citation (ISO format)
KOUTI, Souad, HUYSECOM, Eric. Ounjougou, Mali : new data on bifacial point production in the southern Sahara during the Middle Holocene. In: Journal of African archaeology, 2007, vol. 5, n° 1, p. 3–15. doi: 10.3213/1612-1651-10083
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ISSN of the journal1612-1651
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