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Title: The Middle Stone Age of Atlantic Africa: A critical review
Authors: Pereira, Telmo
Oosterbeek, Luiz
Pleurdeau, David
Camara, Abdoulaye
Bocoum, Hamady
Thiam, Djibril
Alabi, Raphael A.
Kote, Lassina
Toubga, Lassane
Benjamim, Maria Helena
Nankela, Alma
de Matos, Daniela
Keywords: Africa
Atlantic coast
Middle Stone Age
Archaeological visibility
Issue Date: Nov-2023
Publisher: Elsevier Masson SAS. A
Citation: Pereira, T., et al., 2023. The Middle Stone Age of Atlantic Africa: A critical review. L’anthropologie
Abstract: Evidence of early Homo sapiens populations at the Atlantic coast of Africa remains relatively poorly known in relation to other regions of the continent. Nevertheless, available data across the continent provides a good starting point for current and future research investigations. The many sites known, documented and studied contribute in an increasingly way to the global understanding of the human emergence, including evidence of human evolutionary and technological advances, specific adaptations to diverse environments, the diffusion of Homo species and how humans interacted with each other from the “Early Stone Age (ESA)” through to the Middle Stone Age (MSA) from northern and southern Africa to the West. The differences of knowledge between the Atlantic coast in regard to other regions might be attributed to a number of reasons including but not limited to the history of scientific interest, site formation processes or economic, institutional and political constraints. However, the region received a renewed attention and funds that, combined with new methods and techniques, has been allowing an increased training of new researchers and the acquisition of high-resolution archaeological, paleoenvironmental and chronological data. Together, these inputs will reduce the differences of knowledge between the Atlantic coast and the Northern, Southern and Eastern Africa regions. The African Atlantic Coast represents more than 40% of the continent's perimeter, covering all Africa's climate zones, the hot arid environments, mountainous regions, and tropical rainforest could become relevant barriers for human mobility, but the shallow continental platform, and the great number of river basins allowed mobility between north and south coastal biomes into the continental interiors. These may have provided predictable patchy clusters of resources allowing human populations to thrive, enabling greater mobility and consequent diffusion of cultural traits, resources, and DNA. In this paper we review the record about the prehistory, paleoenvironments and paleoanthropological visibility and potentiality of Atlantic Africa.
Peer Reviewed: yes
Appears in Collections:DH - Artigos/Papers

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