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

 

Lake Langano

The site

The site was discovered by F. Gèze and J. Chavaillon in 1974. To the North of Lake Langano, the top of some small hills of volcanic origin are covered by more or less important deposits, left by the different phases of raising or lowering lake level.  About ten prehistoric sites have been discovered at different levels. Here Acheulian artifacts, lithic industries referable to the Middle Stone Age  as well as flaking products of the Late Stone Age have been collected.


The lake

The site

Stratigraphy

The region where this lake is located has been tectonically active. The uplifted beaches (lacustrine clays with thin levels of fluvial sediments) represent the base of different terraces. The uppermost terrace (180m) is correlated to the Acheulean. In the terrace at 140m Middle Stone Age artifacts are prevalent. Finally, Late Stone Age lithic industries are present mainly in the sandy sediments of the 90m terrace as well as on the surface of the upper terraces.


Ilalla Dima handaxe

Harroresa handaxe

The bone remains, some of which show traces of butchering, include hippopotamus, Suids, giraffe, antelope, gazelle, and porcupine. A study of the lithic assemblage - prevalently of basalt, and including cores, choppers, a few tools, and numerous flakes - established that they were produced on the site. The excellent state of preservation of the lithic artifacts also encouraged studies on their use, which indicated they may have been employed on several materials, including wood. Many sites were found in the upper member of the Koobi Fora Formation (Okote Member). They also stood near water courses and were distributed chronologically between 1.6 and 1.25 Myr. Their lithic assemblages, featuring cores, choppers, scrapers, and tools with bifacial retouching, have been designated as “Karari industry”. They indicate a higher technical ability than displayed by earlier Oldowan complexes.

Lithic industry


Obsidian handaxe

The Acheulean lithic industry is mainly of obsidian. The artifacts, sometimes slightly patinated, show that the working techniques are well mastered. There are handaxes on large flakes, oval or heart shaped.

The cleavers are rare. The Middle Stone Age artifacts, mainly on flake, are typologically diversified. Those referable to the Late Stone Age are often represented by abundant flaking debris, but also by real tools on flake.

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

A. Berthelet, G. M. Bulgarelli, J. Chavaillon, M. Piperno (eds) 2001, Melka Kunture. The Guide, Finiguerra Arti Grafiche, Lavello, Potenza.


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