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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article notes that stone artefacts often provide the only means for identifying sites, reconstructing behaviour and determining cultural affiliation in West and Central Africa. For the period covering the end of the Pleistocene and early Holocene, lithic industries can be grouped into two broad technological traditions, the Lupemban–Tshitolian assemblages and microlithic quartz industries. Even if different human populations would leave different signatures in their material culture and, more specifically, their stone tools, the current distribution of western and eastern hunter-gatherers in the Central African forest is not reflected in the Pleistocene or Holocene distribution of the two broad technological complexes. Meanwhile, a combination of poor access to and conservation of raw material may explain the absence of evidence in the forests of the central Congo basin.

Keywords: West Africa, Central Africa, stone artefacts, lithic industries, Lupemban–Tshitolian assemblages, microlithic quartz industries, central Congo basin

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