Late Pleistocene and Holocene lithic variability at Goda Buticha (Southeastern Ethiopia): Implications for the understanding of the Middle and Late Stone Age of the Horn of Africa

Alice Leplongeon*, David Pleurdeau, Erella Hovers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The Late Pleistocene is a key period to understand the shift from the Middle (MSA) to the Late Stone Age (LSA) in Africa. More generally, it is also a crucial time for elucidation of changes in the technological behaviours of human populations in Africa after the main Out of Africa event of modern humans ca. 60-50 thousand years ago. However, the archaeological record for this period is relatively poor, particularly for the Horn of Africa. Here we present a detailed analysis of the lithic assemblages from Goda Buticha (GB), a cave in southeastern Ethiopia, which has yielded a long stratigraphic sequence including Late Pleistocene and Holocene levels. This study (1) contributes to a better knowledge of the late MSA in the Horn of Africa; (2) documents a late Holocene LSA level (GB – Complex I); (3) highlights the presence of MSA characteristics associated with LSA features in the Holocene (GB – Layer IIc). This adds to the emerging record of great lithic technological variability during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-233
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of African Archaeology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Ethiopian Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritages ( arcch ) for permission to survey in the area, to excavate in Goda Buticha and to study the material of both Goda Buticha and Porc-Epic at the National Museum of Ethiopia. The excavation was supported by grants to Zelalem Assefa for the South East Ethiopia Cave Survey Project from the National Geographic Society (grants #8110-06 and 8510-08) and to za and dp from the Wenner-Gren Foundation (Grant # icrg -102). We thank the Tourism and Culture Offices of the Eastern Harerghe, Western Harerghe, the Dire Dawa Administration, and Harari National Regional State for fieldwork administrative support. al ’s PhD research was supported by the Department of Prehistory of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, France, as well as by the umr cnrs 7194. We are grateful to the French Center for Ethiopian Studies for providing logistical support and for funding part of the post-excavation analyses, as well as to the Association des Femmes Françaises diplômées des Universités and the Société des Amis du Museum for grants to al . This research has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skolowska-Curie grant agreement No 655459 as well as from the French Agence Nationale pour la Recherche Project #ANR-14-CE31-0023-03.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Brill Nijhoff. All rights reserved.


  • Ethiopia
  • Goda Buticha
  • Late Stone Age
  • Lithic technology
  • Middle Stone Age


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