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The Current Status of the Kenya Capsian.

Wilshaw, A (2016) The Current Status of the Kenya Capsian. African Archaeological Review, 33 (1). pp. 13-27. ISSN 0263-0338

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East Africa is home to a rich array of stone-tool traditions that span human prehistory. It is unsurprising, therefore, that the region attracted pioneer prehistorians in the early twentieth century, including L. S. B. Leakey, E. J. Wayland and T. P. O'Brien, who created the first cultural framework for East African prehistory during the 1930s. Although aspects of this framework remain relevant today, others have become misunderstood relics of an old classification system that hinders current research. This is particularly evident in the classification of a Later Stone Age (LSA) culture - the Kenya (East African) Aurignacian, later known as Kenya (East African) Capsian. Although this cultural entity was redressed during the 1970s and 1980s and redefined as the Eburran industry, there is still mystique surrounding the current status of the Kenya Capsian, its original scope and definition, the relationship with the Eburran and its position within a modern understanding of the East African LSA. This is largely due to paradigmatic shifts in researcher attitudes, leading to the use of the Eburran as a false proxy. It is necessary now to completely remove the term Kenya Capsian as an indication of similarity among the different LSA technologies. However, there also needs to be less emphasis on the importance of the Eburran and recognition that it is just one example of a multitude of diverse localised LSA industries. This will open the way for future research into the LSA and facilitate our greater understanding of recent prehistory in East Africa.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2101 Archaeology
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Springer Nature America, Inc
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 08:29
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 08:53
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s10437-016-9211-5
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11325
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