Although the refitting of stone artefacts is a rather time consuming aspect of archaeological research it provides some very important information regarding such things as archaeological site formation processes and technological systems used by prehistoric man in the production of these artefacts.
During the November 2011 campaign, the Palaeolithic stone artefacts from Sodmein Cave, excavated in the 1990s by the Belgian Middle Egypt Prehistoric Project (BMEPP), were restudied in collaboration with the Belgian team, directed by Philip van Peer (University of Leuven).
In total more than 3,000 artefacts from the Palaeolithic occupation levels, identified through stratigraphic correlation of the layers concerned and artefact-plotting, were considered in this study. Numerous reduction sequences could be refitted from both the oldest layer J, dated to around 115 ka, as well as from the transitional industries in layer G, dated by a new OSL-date to a mean value of 62 ± 5 ka. Although quartz grains are rare and the sediment composition is heterogeneous, first OSL-results are promising.
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Refitting Palaeolithic stone artefacts from Sodmein Cave. Core sequences from layer J (top left), and from layer G (bottom right).
Photo: Karin Kindermann