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Early Evidence for the Extensive Heat Treatment of Silcrete in the Howiesons Poort at Klipdrift Shelter (Layer PBD, 65 ka), South Africa.

Publié le mercredi 26 octobre 2016
Early Evidence for the Extensive Heat Treatment of Silcrete in the Howiesons Poort at Klipdrift Shelter (Layer PBD, 65 ka), South Africa.

article publié le 19 octobre 2016 dans Plos One par des membres du LaScArBx : 

Anne Delagnes1,2?*, Patrick Schmidt3?, Katja Douze1,2, Sarah Wurz2,4, Ludovic Bellot-Gurlet5, Nicholas J. Conard3, Klaus G. Nickel6, Karen L. van Niekerk4,2, Christopher S. Henshilwood2,4

1 PACEA, CNRS‹University of Bordeaux, Pessac, France, 2 School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies and Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 3 Department of Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, Eberhard Karls University of TuÈbingen, TuÈbingen, Germany, 4 Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway, 5 MONARIS, Sorbonne Universite s, UPMC Universite Paris 6, UMR 8233, Paris, France, 6 Department of Geosciences, Applied Mineralogy, Eberhard Karls University of TuÈbingen, TuÈbingen, Germany

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Lire la brève sur le site de l'INEE : Il y a 65 000 ans, l’homme tirait parti du feu pour tailler la pierre

Il y a 65 000 ans, en Afrique du Sud, l’homme moderne chauffait la pierre en vue de la tailler et fabriquer des outils. Un procédé extrêmement innovant, unique à cette région – il faudra ensuite attendre plus de 40 000 ans pour qu’il réapparaisse et se répande en Asie puis en Europe. C’est ce que vient de montrer une équipe internationale menée par Anne Delagnes, chercheuse CNRS, en étudiant le site de Klipdrift Shelter.  Ces recherches sont publiées dans la revue PLOS ONE le 19 octobre 2016. En savoir plus


Heating stone to enhance its flaking qualities is among the multiple innovative adaptations introduced by early modern human groups in southern Africa, in particular during the Middle Stone Age Still Bay and Howiesons Poort traditions. Comparatively little is known about the role and impact of this technology on early modern human behaviors and cultural expres- sions, due, in part, to the lack of comprehensive studies of archaeological assemblages documenting the heat treatment of stone. We address this issue through an analysis of the procedure used for heating and a technological analysis of a lithic assemblage recovered from one Howiesons Poort assemblage at Klipdrift Shelter (southern Cape, South Africa). The resulting data show extensive silcrete heat treatment, which adds a new dimension to our understanding of fire-related behaviors during the Howiesons Poort, highlighting the important role played by a heat treatment stage in the production of silcrete blades. These results are made possible by our new analytical procedure that relies on the analysis of all silcrete artifacts. It provides direct evidence of a controlled use of fire which took place dur- ing an early stage of core exploitation, thereby impacting on all subsequent stages of the lithic chaˆ?ne ope ?ratoire, which, to date, has no known equivalent in the Middle Stone Age or Middle Paleolithic record outside of southern Africa.