The Evolution of Technological Behaviour: An Analysis of Lithic Artifacts from the Magubike Archaeological Site, Tanzania

  • Author / Creator
    Werner, Joseph J
  • Most Palaeolithic archaeologists now believe that a series of advancements in the behavioural and cultural complexity of early Homo sapiens occurred during the Middle and Later Stone Age in Africa. However, a lack of uninterrupted archaeological sequences has made it difficult to identify the cause and pacing of this transformation confidently. Despite a lack of transitional sites in southern and northern Africa, it has been suggested that East Africa might possess such localities due to its relatively stable climate over the course of the Pleistocene. Furthermore, it has been proposed that environmental refugia in East Africa were critical for the development and transmission of cultural data that some researchers associate with modern culture and cognition such as advanced technology and symbolically mediated behaviour. Despite these recommendations little work has been done to determine where these refugia might be located, how they worked, and if the refugia theory can be validated. On account of the importance of East Africa for the study of modern human origins, several sites were excavated by Dr. Pamela Willoughby in Southern Tanzania, starting in 2006. One of these sites, Magubike, contains stratified Middle Stone Age, Later Stone Age, Iron Age, and historic deposits, allowing the long-term behaviour of the site’s inhabitants to be analyzed. A preliminary study of the lithic assemblage from a portion of Magubike revealed long-term continuity among the typological and technological variables that were investigated, consistent with enduring environmental and social conditions.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.