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Palynology of OGS-6a and OGS-7, two new 2.6 Ma archaeological sites from Gona, Afar, Ethiopia: Insights on aspects of Late Pliocene habitats and the beginnings of stone-tool use

AuthorsLópez Sáez, José Antonio CSIC ORCID ; Domínguez-Rodrigo, M.
KeywordsEarliest stone tools
Late Pliocene
Issue DateJul-2009
CitationGeobios 42(4): 503-511 (2009)
AbstractFossil pollen grains extracted from sediments sampled from OGS-6a and OGS-7, two newly excavated Late Pliocene sites of Gona, in the Afar Depression of Ethiopia, indicate a high percentage of afromontane forest and highland taxa (36.8-43.3%), among which Podocarpus cf. gracilor is dominant (19.6-24.2%). Forest taxa typical of the afromontane phytogeographic region have also been identified in the samples. The overall pollen spectrum suggests a mosaic of open and closed habitats, with a considerable wooded environment present during the time associated with the beginnings of early hominid use of flaked stones at Gona. Here we provide details of the results from the pollen analyses. The two sites lie 4-8 m directly below a volcanic tuff dated by 40Ar/39Ar to 2.53 ± 0.15 million years (Ma). The materials were recovered within fine-grained sediments located just above a geomagnetic polarity transition identified as the Gauss-Matuyama boundary dated close to 2.6 Ma, also corroborating the earlier age reported for the East Gona artifacts from EG-10 and EG-12. Thus, the stone artifacts, fossilized broken fauna and pollen grains from OGS-6a and OGS-7 represent archaeological materials from the world's oldest securely dated sites, and offer insights on aspects of the palaeoenvironments around the time of the beginnings of ancestral hominid use of flaked stones, ca. 2.6 Ma. © 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.geobios.2008.12.002
issn: 0016-6995
Appears in Collections:(CCHS-IH) Artículos

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