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Title: Lower Paleolithic sites in northern Africa: paleomagnetic insights
Authors: Parés, Josep María
Sahnouni, Mohamed
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: CENIEH
Citation: II Meeting of African Prehistory, 2015, p. 42
Abstract: Sedimentary rocks record the Earth’s magnetic field during their formation as they contain traces of ferromagnetic minerals. Since the geomagnetic poles change positions over geologic time, it is possible to use such changes to assign an age to rocks and sediments by comparing the observations to the Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale (GPTS). In Lower Paleolithic context, magnetic reversal stratigraphy is very often the first line of defense for dating archeological sites due to the versatility of the method, small sample preparation, and the rapidness of the measurements. Recent advances of old chronologies of Paleolithic sites from southernmost Europe are reopening the debate on the age of the early Paleolithic northernmost African sites, with implications as possible route for early hominin dispersal into Eurasia. Although the earliest Oldowan lithic tools are dated to ca. 2.6 Ma in East Africa, little is known as far as the precise chronology of the earliest stone technology in Northern Africa. In order to constrain the chronology of archaeological sites such as Ain Hanech, Errayah, Aboukir among others (in northern Algeria), we are conducting a number of magnetostratigraphic studies that will allow us a more precise age assignment of such critical localities. Oriented samples taken in the field, as either small oriented blocks or standard 8 cm 3 cubes, are measured at the Paleomagnetism Laboratory of the Geochronology Facility (CENIEH, Spain), in order to determine the local magnetic polarity stratigraphy and correlate this to the GPTS. Here, we will assess the current state of paleomagnetic studies in Northern Algeria, and discuss the potential of magnetostratigraphic dating for temporally constraining lower Paleolithic localities.
Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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