Examples of cut marks on BSGB and BSGD ungulate bones from Brush Hut 1. A: Tibia shaft, BSGB (Sp. 8176) B: Rib shaft, BSGB (Sp. 8162) C: Rib shaft, BSGD (Sp. 9402) D: Rib shaft, BSGD (Sp. 10047). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0262434.g005
The submerged site of Ohalo II was occupied during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), between 23,500–22,500 cal BP, bridging the Upper Paleolithic/Epipaleolithic transition in the southern Levant. The site is known for the excellent preservation of its brush huts and botanical remains. This study examines the behavior of its past inhabitants through a...
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... Increasing reliance on cultivated crops within a semi-sedentary lifestyle may have been an innovative solution to accommodate a growing population. Recent studies are highlighting how a broad range of resources are often employed in scenarios of resource abundance rather than scarcity (Bogaard et al., 2021;Linares-Matás & Lim, 2021b;Steiner et al., 2022;Zeder, 2012). Such a positive feedback loop could have formed the backbone that sustained the "classic Tichitt" stone-walled settlement phase (1600-1000 BC) in the sandstone escarpments of southeastern Mauritania (MacDonald, 2015). ...
The emergence of socio-political differentiation is a core theme in world prehistory, and the West African archaeological record offers unique insights into the range of pathways towards increasing complexity and the origins of socio-economic inequalities. During the second half of the second millennium BC, the Tichitt-Oualata escarpments of southeastern Mauritania witnessed the development of societies with monumental funerary architecture and substantial drystone settlements that relied on an agropastoral economy based primarily on pearl millet (Pennisetum sp.) cultivation and livestock-raising. Previous spatial analyses of site size have shown that the Dhar Tichitt landscape exhibited a multi-tiered settlement hierarchy, with Dakhlet el Atrouss I (80 ha) as the main regional center, with almost 600 compounds forming an intricate layout and hundreds of funerary tumuli in the vicinity of the site. The limited presence of imported prestige goods, however, has sparked considerable controversy regarding the socio-political complexity of the community inhabiting the site. The aim of this article is to understand whether remote sensing and spatial analyses can inform us about the extent of socio-economic differentiation at Dakhlet el Atrouss I, the largest site ascribed to the Tichitt Tradition. On the basis of relevant ethnographies exploring the dynamics of household wealth in agropastoral economies, I explore the degree of compound size variation at the site and neighborhood levels using well-established econometric methods that increasingly feature in archaeological studies of inequality and socio-political complexity. This paper represents the first application of Lorenz Curves and Gini Coefficients in African prehistory and illustrates a considerable degree of spatial and socio-economic differentiation at Dakhlet el Atrouss I.