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Modelling the end of the Acheulean at global and continental levels suggests widespread persistence into the Middle Palaeolithic

Key, Alastair J. M., Jarić, Ivan, Roberts, David L. (2021) Modelling the end of the Acheulean at global and continental levels suggests widespread persistence into the Middle Palaeolithic. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 8 . Article Number 55. ISSN 2662-9992. (doi:10.1057/s41599-021-00735-8) (KAR id:86853)

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https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-021-00735-8

Abstract

The Acheulean is the longest cultural tradition ever practised by humans, lasting for over 1.5 million years. Yet, its end has never been accurately dated; only broad 300–150 thousand years ago (Kya) estimates exist. Here we use optimal linear estimation modelling to infer the extinction dates of the Acheulean at global and continental levels. In Africa and the Near East the Acheulean is demonstrated to end between 175 and 166 Kya. In Europe it is inferred to end between 141 and 130 Kya. The Acheulean’s extinction in Asia occurs later (57–53 Kya), while global models vary depending on how archaeological sites are selected (107–29 Kya). These models demonstrate the Acheulean to have remained a distinct cultural tradition long after the inception of Middle Palaeolithic technologies in multiple continental regions. The complexity of this scenario mirrors the increasingly dynamic nature of the Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record, suggesting contemporaneous hominin populations to have practised distinct stone-tool traditions.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1057/s41599-021-00735-8
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Alastair Key
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2021 13:16 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2021 15:11 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/86853 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Key, Alastair J. M.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5576-1200
Jarić, Ivan: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2185-297X
Roberts, David L.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6788-2691
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