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National Science Foundation (USA) 2005

Middle Paleolithic Landscape Use in the High Desert of Middle Egypt

Landscape Desert Egypt

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Titre : Middle Paleolithic Landscape Use in the High Desert of Middle Egypt

Organismes NSF : Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences

Durée : September 1, 2005 — August 31, 2010

Description
With support from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Deborah Olszewski will lead a team of archaeologists and geologists on a two-year project of archaeological survey and study of landscape formation processes of the high desert west of Abydos (Middle Egypt), focusing primarily on the materials from the early Upper Pleistocene. This is an important area of research, since it is during this time (ca. 100,000 years ago) that the first anatomically modern humans presumably left subSaharan Africa to colonize the rest of the Old World, and the Nile corridor represents one, and quite probably the, route by which this dispersal took place. While the goal of this research is not to document that spread, this project will provide new and important data on the ways in which these landscapes were used during that time interval. This is a crucial step in understanding the spread of modern humans, and one that forms the primary intellectual merit of this project.
Prior research in the high desert of Middle Egypt is virtually non-existent, and the limited surveys that have been done have not been systematic. However, preliminary work there by this team has shown that it has considerable archaeological potential. Building on a methodology developed by them, teams of individuals will make detailed records of artifact occurrences and collect and analyze the stone tools found there. Study of landscape evolution in the high desert will include analyses of drainage pattern and form in order to better understand the processes that have altered the plateau surface over the last 500,000 years ago. The fundamental goals of this project include collection of paleoclimatic and chronological data available at stratified caves, rockshelters, and Quaternary spring carbonates located in the study area ; and development of a more comprehensive understanding of the stone tool technology present in the high desert. The ultimate goal is to reconstruct landscape use in the Middle Egyptian high desert, including the testing of two models of its use vs. that of the Nile Valley proper.
In terms of its broader impacts, the results of this project will be applicable not only to the study area, but will also fill in major gaps to our understanding of the Paleolithic occurrences of Egypt, which heretofore have been concentrated on oases, the Nile valley proper, and in the mountain areas to the east. Moreover, it will build on methodologies that are of use to archaeological landscape studies in general and landscape formation and its effects on site formation. It will also provide field training for many graduate and undergraduate students, and provide results of the work to the lay public, in a context that is understandable, through the maintenance of the project website

Partenaire (s) : Deborah Olszewski deboraho sas.upenn.edu (Principal Investigator) Shannon McPherron (Co-Principal Investigator) Jennifer Smith (Co-Principal Investigator) Harold Dibble (Co-Principal Investigator)

Sponsor  : University of Pennsylvania Research Services Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205 (215)898-7293

Financement : $127,538.00

Présentation (National Science Foundation)

Page publiée le 21 avril 2017, mise à jour le 2 novembre 2017