DELAGNES Anne's profile
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DELAGNES Anne

  • PACEA, CNRS / University of Bordeaux / Ministry of Cuture, Bordeaux, France
  • Africa, Ancient Palaeolithic, Europe, Lithic technology, Middle Palaeolithic, Peopling, Raw materials, Spatial analysis, Taphonomy
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Recommendation:  1

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Educational and work
I am an archaeologist and prehistorian, director of research for the CNRS (PACEA research unit, university of Bordeaux/CNRS/Ministry of Culture), specialist of the Early Stone Age and Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic in Africa, Arabia and western Europe. I work on the adaptative behaviors of the early hominins to their environement, the evolution of their technical and innovative skills through time and space before and over the earliest stages of emergence of Homo sapiens.

Recommendation:  1

2020-12-17
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Experimentation preceding innovation in a MIS5 Pre-Still Bay layer from Diepkloof Rock Shelter (South Africa): emerging technologies and symbols

Recommended by based on reviews by Francesco d'Errico, Kathryn Ranhorn and Enza Elena Spinapolice

Experimentation as a driving force for innovation in the Pre-Still Bay from Southern Africa

The article submitted by Guillaume Porraz et al. [1] shed light on the evolutionary changes recorded during the Pre-Still Bay Lynn stratigraphic unit (SU) from Diepkloof (Southern Africa). It promotes a multi-proxy and integrative approach based on a set of innovative behaviors, such as the engraving of geometric forms, silcrete heat- treatment, the use of adhesive, bladelet and bifacial tools production. This approach is not so common in Middle Stone Age (MSA) studies and makes a lot of sense for discussing the mechanisms that have fostered later innovations during the Still Bay and Howiesons Poort periods. The various innovations that emerge synchronously in this layer contrast with earlier innovations which appear as isolated phenomena in the MSA archaeological record. The strong inventiveness documented in Lynn SU is reported to a phase of experimentation for testing new ideas, new behaviors that would have played a crucial role for the emergence of the Still Bay in a context of socio-economic transformation.

The data presented in this article broadens the scope of two previous articles [2-3] based on a more representative record, collected on an area of 3,5 m² opposed to 2 m² previously, and on the first presentation and description of an engraved bone with a rhomboid pattern. Macro- and microscopic analyses together with the analysis of the distribution of the engraved lines argue convincingly for an intentional engraving. This article constitutes a key contribution to the question of HOW emerged modern cultures in Southern Africa, while calling for further research related to sites’ function, environment and local resources to address the ever-debated question of WHY the MSA groups from Southern Africa developed such unprecedented inventiveness. It makes no doubt that this article deserves recommendation by PCI Archaeology.

[1] Porraz, G., Schmidt, P., Bereiziat, G., Brugal, J.Ph., Dayet, L., Igreja, M., Miller, C.E., Viola, C., Tribolo, C., Val, A., Verna, C., Texier, P.J. 2020. Experimentation preceding innovation in a MIS5 Pre-Still Bay layer from Diepkloof Rock Shelter (South Africa): emerging technologies and symbols. 10.32942/osf.io/ch53r

[2] Porraz, G., Texier, P.J., Archer, W., Piboule, M., Rigaud, J.P, Tribolo, C. 2013. Technological successions in the Middle Stone Age sequence of Diepkloof Rock Shelter, Western Cape, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science 40, 3376–3400. 10.1016/j.jas.2013.02.012

[3] Porraz, G., Texier, J.P. Miller, C.E., 2014. Le complexe bifacial Still Bay et ses modalités d’émergence à l’abri Diepkloof (Middle Stone Age, Afrique du Sud). In: XXVIIème Congrès Préhistorique de France, Transitions, Ruptures et Continuité en Préhistoire. Mémoires de la Société Préhistorique Française, 155–175.

avatar

DELAGNES Anne

  • PACEA, CNRS / University of Bordeaux / Ministry of Cuture, Bordeaux, France
  • Africa, Ancient Palaeolithic, Europe, Lithic technology, Middle Palaeolithic, Peopling, Raw materials, Spatial analysis, Taphonomy
  • recommender

Recommendation:  1

Reviews:  0

Educational and work
I am an archaeologist and prehistorian, director of research for the CNRS (PACEA research unit, university of Bordeaux/CNRS/Ministry of Culture), specialist of the Early Stone Age and Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic in Africa, Arabia and western Europe. I work on the adaptative behaviors of the early hominins to their environement, the evolution of their technical and innovative skills through time and space before and over the earliest stages of emergence of Homo sapiens.