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By Ed P N Stearns

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Togola at the clustered Akumbu and Boundouboukou sites in the Mema (late 1980s), by the (1982–1987) Malian Institut des Sciences Humaines inventory project (Sanogo, Dembele, Raimbault) in the lakes region immediately upstream of the Niger Bend, and (since 1989) by the Dutch Projet Togue (van der Waals) in the upper inland delta floodplain. Since 1990, the McIntoshes and their Senegalese collaborator, H. Bocoum, have repeated this successful settlement pattern examination in the middle Senegal Valley in a 460-square-kilometer region flanked by the excavated sites of Cubalel and Sioure and, upstream, at the hinterland of the large site of Sincu Bara.

Acheul (France), but in Africa this industry is based upon artifact assemblages from upper Bed II at Olduvai Gorge and at Konso (Ethiopia), Olorgesailie, and Melka Kontouré—to name a few of the more important sites. Artifact assemblages are composed of large bifaces, like handaxes, picks, and cleavers, and all show a high degree of standardization, something that was missing form earlier flake stone techno-complexes. Isaac (1977) suggests that African Acheulean is characterized by the use of very large flakes (less than 10 centimeters in length).

It was the nature of the sedimentary record that led Wayland to describe environmental intervals he called “pluvials,” literally meaning rains, that he thought would link Europe’s four-glacier concept to Africa. Today, the Kafuan industry is not recognized as a legitimate stone-tool technology because the stone tools (split-pebbles) are the result of natural fractures, most likely caused by the river environment from which they were found, and the pluvial concept is long forgotten. Wayland was also responsible for describing the Sangoan and Magosian Middle Paleolithic industries from type-sites also located near the Kafu River; the Sangoan is still recognized as a legitimate industry, but Magosian tools fall within the range of variation of an Acheulean-Levallois techno-complex.

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The Encyclopedia of Archeology by Ed P N Stearns

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