A more than 53,000 year old archaeological assemblage at Mochena Borago Rockshelter, SW Ethiopia
Excavations at Mochena Borago Rockshelter continued during February/March 2012. Previous work had shown this site to contain deep deposits that still remained to be excavated.
Therefore, the main aim of the 2012 field season was the spatial and vertical expansion of the excavation trenches into the unexcavated deposits. In two squares, it was possible to reach a hard stratum that might be bedrock and to increase the sample size of the oldest archaeological assemblage (Lower T-Group, >53 ka calBP). Another important aspect was the collection of geological samples (soil samples and micromorphology samples) that will help to clarify the complex depositional history of the shelter and its sediments, and to understand the palaeoenvironmental context of the site and its surroundings.
In additions to students from the University of Florida and the University of Cologne, six students from the Wolayta Sodo University, Southern Ethiopia joined the fieldwork and were introduced to excavation methodology. Several groups of visitors – government officials, school classes and members of the archaeology department of Addis Ababa University – visited the site and took the opportunity to get a better understanding of archaeological research. A special honour was the visit of the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ato Hailemariam Desalegn, who toured the project with his assistants.
Visit of the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ato Hailemariam Desalegn, February 2012.
Photo: Hannah Parow-Souchon