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Université de Bordeaux
LabEx LaScArBxCluster of Excellence
Cluster of excellence


Innovations culturelles dans le Middle and Later stone Age d'Afrique de l'Est : la séquence de Panga Ya Saïdi, Kenya.

projet porté par : Francesco d'Errico, PACEA

durée : 12 mois 

financement : 22 143 €

partenaires : UMR 5060 IRAMAT/CRP2A (Pessac, France), Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (Jena, Germany), SERP – Department of History and Archaeology, University of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain). 

mots clés : émergence of symbolic behaviour, Middle Stone Age, burial practices, scientific documentary, non-destructive spectroscopy, microscopy, technology, use-wear, reference collections, raw material sourcing 


The objective of the project CUMILA was that of documenting the emergence and long-term evolution of key cultural innovations (personal ornamentation, bone technologies, ochre use) in eastern Africa through the analysis of relevant artefacts found at the Kenyan site of Panga Ya Saidi (PYS) and their comparison with reference collections created in the framework of the project. A side goal was that of making a documentary on the work, in the laboratory and the field, of an interdisciplinary team composed of members of two LabEx research units.

Although a manuscript was submitted for publication and scheduled analyses were completed, the preparation of three others manuscripts and the production of the documentary were delayed by our involvement in the analysis of a particularly significant and unexpected discovery. A pit feature containing the articulated skeleton of a child was found in a well dated ~76,500 years old layer.

The objective of the CUMILA-CONSOLIDATION is threefold:

1) ensure that the collaborative study of the PYS child burial will be published in a major journal, probably Nature; 

2) catch up on the backlog accumulated due to our investment in the study of the burial and publish the three studies on the rich archaeological material discovered during the last excavation seasons at PYS;

3) complete the documentary on the CUMILA project, which will also include images of the discovery of child burial and information on its study. 


Figure dans les rubriques