Museum

TUKUL 1: African Prehistory

tukul1 Open air museum Tukul 2 Tukul 3 Tukul 4 panel 1 panel 2 panel 3 panel 4 panel 5 panel 6 panel 7 panel 8 panel 9 Open air museum Tukul 2 Tukul 3 Tukul 4 panel 1 panel 2 panel 3 panel 4 panel 5 panel 6 panel 7 panel 8 panel 9 Open air museum Tukul 2 Tukul 3 Tukul 4 panel 1 panel 2 panel 3 panel 4 panel 5 panel 6 panel 7 panel 8 panel 9

 

Isenya

The site

Isenya is the first Acheulean site excavated in the Eastern Highlands of Kenya. Very rich lithic and faunal remains in a fluviatile sedimentary context indicate hominid activity on a sandy bar next to a river, which was perhaps perennial. Microstratigraphy and archaeological data permit reconstruction of the processes by which the remains were deposited.


Location of Isenya site

Characteristics of archaeological layers

Several in situ occupation layers show only a slight degree of perturbation. The bone assemblage is of anthropic origin, and the lithic industry is characterized by an abundance of bifacial pieces, level VI being particularly rich in cleavers. From the analysis of the lithic industry we can obtain some idea of hominid technological behaviour, most notably the operational chains of tool production from the procurement of raw materials to the knapping sequences.

The fauna associated with the lithic materials is dominated by animals of the open savannah (Alcelaphini and Antilopini); and its detailed study will allow us to specify the strategies used in the procurement of game and its subsequent consumption. Without doubt, the reasons for hominid occupation at this particular site will be impossible to explain fully. However, choice of this location, where evidence for several different activities has been uncovered, should be considered in terms of the proximity both of water and of outcrops of phonolite, the principal raw material for tool-making. Repeated occupation by hominids over a short time may, perhaps, correspond to the periodicity of their subsistence behaviour.

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

H. Roche, J.-Ph. Brugal, D. Lefèvre, S. Ploux, P.-J. Texier 1988, Isenya: état des recherches sur un nouveau site acheuléen d′Afrique orientale, The African Archaeological Review, 6, pp. 27-55.

H. Roche, P.-J. Texier 1991,  La notion de complexité dans un ensemble lithique : application aux séries acheuléennes d′Isenya (Kenya), 25 ans d′études technologiques en Préhistoire : bilan et perspectives, Actes XI Rencontres Internationales d′Archéologie et d′Histoire d′Antibes,  Juan-les-Pins, APDCA, pp. 99-108.


© 2007-2017 Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità. Università di Roma “La Sapienza”. Terms of use