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dc.contributor.authorInglis, Robyn Helen
dc.date.accessioned2022-10-05T17:06:16Z
dc.date.available2022-10-05T17:06:16Z
dc.date.issued2011-11-11
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/341697
dc.description.abstractEnvironmental change has been cited as a key factor in controlling dispersals throughout human evolution. Shifting environments potentially controlled movements of late Middle Stone Age (MSA) and Later Stone Age (LSA) modern human populations during Marine Isotope Stages 5–2 (MIS5–2) both within, and out of, Africa. Understanding the environmental context of the occupations at the Haua Fteah rockshelter, Libya (one of the key cultural sequences in North Africa), will allow the assessment of environmental controls on the replacement of populations carrying MSA technologies by those with LSA industries, and the analysis of their relative abilities to adapt to a range of environments. Cave sediments result from the complex interplay between anthropogenic and ‘natural’ influences, and thus potentially contain high-resolution histories of environmental change which can be directly linked to the archaeology they contain. This thesis combines geoarchaeological techniques of bulk sedimentology (percent loss on ignition organics, magnetic susceptibility, particle size and percent calcium carbonate) and thin section soil micromorphology to produce a multi-scalar robust site formation history. Through field descriptions and bulk sedimentology, it traces the response of the shelter to global environmental change over the last glacial cycle. Within this long-term framework, micromorphological analysis is used to examine specifically the conditions leading up to and during the replacement of the later MSA with the early LSA Dabban. The results demonstrate the potential for integrating such analyses into rockshelter investigations, both for environmental reconstruction as well as for highlighting the major taphonomic issues integral to all on-site palaeoenvironmental analyses and archaeological excavations. The sedimentary history of the shelter appears to show that relatively high-density MSA occupation at the Haua Fteah during the later part of MIS5a in mesic conditions was curtailed by the onset of cooling in the glacial conditions of MIS4. Environmental and landscape fluctuations in MIS3, reflecting rapid global climatic shifts, were accompanied by even lower occupation density for both MSA populations and the LSA Dabban, which appears during this period, indicating that this period was inhospitable to populations with both industries. Subsequently, the occupation intensity of the Dabban increases markedly with the onset of MIS2, indicating that the Jebel Akhdar acted as a refuge during full glacial conditions for LSA populations, yet not for MSA populations during MIS4. This geoarchaeological study of the Haua Fteah therefore potentially highlights a technological advantage of LSA industries which allowed modern human populations to adapt to a wider range of environments than was possible with MSA technology, an ability which may potentially have aided their global dispersal.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.rightsAll Rights Reserved
dc.rights.urihttps://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserved/
dc.subjectHaua Fteahen
dc.titleHuman Occupation and Changing Environments During the Middle to Later Stone Ages: Soil Micromorphology at the Haua Fteah, Libyaen
dc.typeThesisen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)en
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridgeen
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.89119
cam.supervisorBarker, Graeme


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