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2017-08-31 06:35:18   •   ID: 1651

MSA point from Lake Tumba: More questions than answers..

Figure 1
Figure 1 shows a MSA point made on a Levallois flake from Lake Tumba, Central Africa (Fiedler and Preuss: African Archaeological Review 3: 179–187). Such unifacial points were found together with material reminiscent of the Lupemban (Tumba-West) and the Tshitolian (Tumba East) on the surface.

Today the 80,000 km2 Lake Tumba Landscape in the Congo Basin is a complex ecosystem with high biodiversity which actually supports a human population that now exceeds 2 million people.

The role of lakes as refugia during the Middle Pleistocene has highlighted by Laura S. Basell (2008; see external link) "The clustering of MSA sites around lakes in these regions is unlikely to be coincidental. Even during phases of prolonged aridity, lake margins would probably have maintained greater habitat stability. This would be particularly true for lakes, which are predominantly groundwater fed, and such areas today support a larger number of trees and more vegetation.

Even where an area turns to open grassland, or semi-desert, it is possible that a greater degree of tree cover and vegetation would have been present around lake margins. In periods of prolonged aridity, such areas could have supported small hominin populations, acting as oases within large areas of arid grassland or semi desert. They would also have been extremely important locations for animals; even those adapted to arid grassland habitats".