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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Vol. 2 (1) 2004

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S. Biagetti, F. Merighi & S. di Lernia

Decoding an Early Holocene Saharan stratified site. Ceramic dispersion and site formation processes in the Takarkori rock-shelter, Acacus Mountains, Libya

Journal of African Archaeology, Vol. 2 (1), 2004, pages 3-21, DOI 10.3213/1612-1651-10016

Abstract
The surface pottery from a well-preserved Holocene archaeological site in south-western Libya is analysed. The collection suggests a long and protracted human occupation of the shelter, from Late Acacus (Mesolithic) hunter-gatherers to Late Pastoral (Neolithic) herders. Aim of the work is to decode the dynamic history of the site via the study of its surface elements, both artefacts and ecofacts, and the way they interacted over the millennia. To do this, traditional ceramic analysis is combined with recently developed methods of description imported from sedimentology, stressing the potentialities of surface archaeological material. In this framework, spatial analysis of scattered potsherds, in connection with their quantitative and qualitative features and chronological attribution, appears of main relevance in the analysis of site formation processes and post-depositional events that altered the archaeological deposit, transforming its present surface.

Résumé
Nous présentons ici l'analyse de la poterie de surface provenant d'un site holocène bien conservé du sud ouest de la Libye. L'assemblage montre une occupation prolongée de l'abri, par les chasseurs-cueilleurs du Late Acacus (Mésolithique) jusqu'aux éleveurs du Late Pastoral (Néolithique). Le but de ce travail est d'interpréter l'histoire dynamique de ce site via l'étude des éléments de surface, tant les artefacts que les «écofacts», et de leurs interactions au cours des millénaires. Dans cette perspective, l'analyse traditionnelle de la céramique est combinée à des méthodes de description récemment développées, empruntées à la sédimentologie, mettant l'accent sur le potentiel du matériel archéologique de surface. Dans ce contexte l'analyse spatiale associée à la caractérisation des tessons (quantitative, qualitative et chrono-culturelle) contribue tout à fait à l'étude des processus de la formation d'un site et des évènements post-dépositionnels qui ont altéré le dépôt archéologique, transformant sa surface actuelle.




Keywords: Holocene, Libyan Sahara, pottery, site formation


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