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2021-09-28 09:11:22   •   ID: 2271

The Sophistication of the Simplicity

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
This is a thin elongated flake with facetted base (13x5x0,7 cm) from a surface scatter, consisting of a mix of MSA and Neolithic tools at Erg Rebiana (Rabiana, Rabyanah موزي ) in Lybia.

This vast area of Erg Rebiana was intermittently visited during the Acheulian, MSA, and Epipaleolithic and through the Neolithic periods by our predecessors- see: 2010

Technologically, the characteristics of the very thin stone tool, speak for the use of direct percussion with an organic hammer or more probably an indirect percussion technic, regarding that we recognize the combination of a long and diffuse percussion bulb and lip formation (Damlien 2015).

The tool has a continuous semi abrupt simple inverse retouche on the ventral side with a flat bulb of percussion (Figure 1) and is made from high quality multicolored quartzite. The facetted base is shown in Figure 3.

Most probably the artifact comes from the Middle Holocene wet-phase connecting the Sahara with West and East-Africa by a dense network of rivers and lakes.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – The sentence is attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci, but that is uncertain. Nevertheless, it brings an important observation to the point.

Indeed, this seemingly simple tool has been made by a technologically advanced technique and functionally allows scraping, grain harvesting or smooth cutting movements without any difficulties and can be manufactured without much effort after the preparation of an adequate core. Moreover it does not need a handle and can be used without any hafting.

Simplicity is not simple but an achievement. The world around us was always highly complex. Thus, it was and still is characteristic for the ability of Homo sp. how to process complex things and made them simple.

Therefore, behind every simplicity there is a great complexity and sophistication- a deeper understanding of mental and technological, processes.

The simplification of things makes it easier to transfer knowledge of techniques and ideas from one generation to another, an ability that was essential for surviving in a changing world some 5 k.a. years ago, when the first signs of cooling and aridification of the Libyan Sahara became apparent to the people.

One path they followed was the migration to the south, to the Sahel zone. They succeeded in adapting to their new habitat.

Since the 19th century, the Sahel eco-system has been deteriorating at an unprecedented rate, to the extreme detriment of the Sahel people.

In desperation they try to cross the Sahara, now in the opposite direction, and try to cross the Mediterranean to reach the European Union as a presumed rescuing anchor.

However, they are not welcome anywhere and the "European Christian values" (what is that?) turn to be the empty talk of people who have already feathering their own nests.