Excavation at the Sodicho Rockshelter (Southwest Ethiopia)
Sodicho Rockshelter, a Holocene and late Pleistocene site in the southwestern Ethiopian Highlands, was visited in October/November 2017 by an interdisciplinary research team of archaeologists and geoarchaeologists from the CRC 806 and one student of geoscience from Addis Ababa University. Based on a first test excavation in 2015 the site promised to have the potential for the preservation of a comprehensive stratigraphy, comparable to the depositional history of the key-site Mochena Borago.
The recent field work, directed by Dr. Ralf Vogelsang, comprised archaeological excavations, a first geomorphological survey and geoarchaeological investigations at the site. Previous excavations touched a settlement layer dating to the end of the Late Pleistocene period. Larger parts of this assemblage were excavated this year and numerous charcoal samples will permit the measuring of more radiocarbon dates. To understand the depositional history of the site geoarchaeological work included sediment sampling for laboratory investigations, e.g. grain size or elemental composition. Further archaeological and geoarchaeological investigations at the rockshelter are planned for the coming year.
Mount Sodicho in the morning sun (top) and view into the rockshelter and the excavation site (below).
Photo: Elena Hensel