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J Hum Evol. 2002 Dec;43(6):925-37.

Further research at the Oldowan site of Ain Hanech, North-eastern Algeria.

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CRAFT Research Center, Indiana University, 419 North Indiana Avenue, Bloomington 47405, USA.


Further investigations were carried out at Ain Hanech, Algeria in 1998 and 1999 to explore its potential for investigating early hominid behavioral patterns and adaptation. Research concentrated on the stratigraphy and dating, identifying new archaeological deposits, and excavating the Ain Hanech and El-Kherba localities. To enhance the chronological control within a biostratigraphic framework, the Ain Boucherit fossil-bearing stratum, yielding a Plio-Pleistocene fauna, is correlated with the regional stratigraphy. In the stratigraphic sequence, the Ain Boucherit stratum, located 13m below the Ain Hanech Oldowan occurrences, is found in Unit Q of the Ain Hanech Formation. Unit Q shows a paleomagnetically reversed polarity, which may be correlated with an age earlier than the Olduvai normal subchron (1.95-1.77Ma). Based on test trenches and stratigraphic analyses, additional Oldowan deposits A, B, and C are identified at Ain Hanech. All three deposits and the El-Kherba site contain Mode I technology artefacts associated with an Early Pleistocene fauna. El-Kherba is stratigraphically equivalent to Ain Hanech. These two archaeological sites are estimated to be dated to about 1.8Ma.

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