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GEOCHEMICAL PROVENANCE OF OBSIDIAN ARTEFACTS FROM THE MSA SITE OF PORC EPIC, ETHIOPIA*

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Obsidian geochemical analysis has become an indispensable tool in archaeological research and has wide applications. However, in spite of the abundance of geological and archaeological obsidian, there has been virtually no such investigation in Ethiopia. Recent instrumental characterization of 31 obsidian artefacts from the Middle Stone Age site of Porc Epic and numerous obsidian geological sources show that artefacts were being transported from as far as 250 km away. We believe this has relevance to the understanding of the emergence of modern human behaviour.
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Keywords: ETHIOPIA; GEOCHEMISTRY; MIDDLE STONE AGE; MODERN HUMAN BEHAVIOUR; OBSIDIAN; XRF

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany 2: Archaeological XRF Laboratory, Department of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Publication date: 01 February 2006

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