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Archaeological excavations in Ifri Oudadane, NE-Morocco, 2011

Fieldwork undertaken in 2011 at Ifri Oudadane was – for the time being – the last campaign at this site. Four field seasons (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011) have resulted in the excavation of 12 m2 and the documentation of several up to 2 m high sections.

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The site has yielded evidence from the transition from Epipalaeolithic to Early Neolithic, dated to the middle of the 8th millennium calBP. The entire sediment of the excavation was flotated, charred fragments separated, and residues sorted.

An enormous amount of archaeological material and various samples were obtained. On the basis of these samples, a broad spectrum of sedimentological analyses was performed, including geochemistry and micromorphology. Carbonised charcoals and seeds have provided information about the environment and changing subsistence strategies. In the zoological material, shells of marine and terrestrial molluscs are predominant, suggesting the importance of these resources for Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic populations.

Due to the variety of different methods applied, the transition is well defined by the appearance of pottery and domesticated species (sheep, goat, cereals and legumes). The nature of the sediment changes from homogenous to a fumier-like deposit with alternating ash and charcoal layers. These layers contain coprolites, calcite spherulites and fungal spores that are indicative of the penning of animals inside the shelter. Furthermore, a notable increase in the sedimentation rate towards the Neolithic is observable.

A first publication about site formation processes and chronological framework is currently in press: J. Linstädter and M. Kehl, The Holocene archaeological sequence and site formation processes at Ifri Oudadane, NE Morocco. Journal of Archaeological Science (in press).

C2_Linstdter_A_Fig_1_lhk_250pxIfri Oudadane during excavation (Johannes Wimmer, Berit Abt, Andrea Lanzicher, Jörg Linstädter).
Photo: Ines Medved
  C2_Linstdter_A_Fig_3_lhk_250px
Separating artefact material (Gerd-Christian Weniger, Ines Medved, Andrea Lanzicher, Berit Abt).
Photo: Jörg Linstädter

 

C2_Linstdter_A_Fig_2_lhk_250px
Flotation of the Ifri Oudadane sediment by Johannes Wimmer.
Photo: Berit Abt

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