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2019-07-31 08:03:06   •   ID: 2111

Please do not throw the baby out with the bath water!: The Mode I industries of N-Africa

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 1 and 2: This is a "Chopping Tool“, found decennia ago at Reggane / Algeria- see here: 2018

Sixty years ago, scientists were convinced of the presence of Early Mode I Stone Age industries all over the Maghreb and the adjacent Sahara.

These suggestions were based mainly on the composition and general morphology of large clusters of “Chopper” and “Chopping Tools”, that resembled artifacts from Olduvai Gorge.

While well-preserved fossils and artifacts within datable, sequential volcanic deposits have made East Africa an ideal ground for spectacular discoveries in a well-calibrated chronological framework, most Maghrebinian Mode I occurrences are from non-stratified scatters, can not be dated by volcanic ashes, and are generally lacking in associated fauna (Barski 2019).

A general critique on almost all Mode I scatters in N-Africa has been put forward by Raynal and Texier who doubt on the antiquity of the Maghrebinian “pebble culture”

They claim that the “pebble culture”- assemblages are either surface finds, reworked materials, the consequence of selective sampling, or even pseudo-artefacts generated by high-energy deposits.

On the other hand, an Oldowan at Aïn Hanech, near Sétif in northern Algeria, and at the nearby sites of El-Kherba and Ain Boucherit, dated as early as 1,8-2,4 Mya. are now generally accepted by the scientific community.

It remains unlikely that out there, nothing else is waiting for us to be detected and it remains unscientific to take the absence of evidence as the evidence of absence.

Most Paradigms are made to be replaced by other Paradigms one day...

Did you know?

Figure 3
Algeria had been chosen as early as July 1957 as the location for the first French nuclear tests, due to the existence of large inhabited regions in the south of the territory with geologically favorable conditions.

Figure 4
A 108,000 square kilometers inhabited zone was designated as military grounds and named Sahara Center for Military Experiments (Centre Saharien d’Expérimentations Militaires, CSEM).

Starting in October 1957, the French Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique, CEA) and the armed forces built the necessary facilities near Reggane, a small town of about 8,000 inhabitants, between 1957 and 1959.

The base and testing grounds were placed under military command. Up to 10,000 civilian and military personnel were stationed in and around Reggane
(Tertrais 2012)

(Figure 3 and 4 are Originals from my personal foto collection).