78,000-year-old record of Middle and Later Stone Age innovation in an East African tropical forest. / Shipton, Ceri; Roberts, Patrick; Archer, Will; Armitage, Simon; Bita, Caesar; Blinkhorn, James; Courtney-Mustaphi, Colin; Crowther, Alison; Curtis, Richard; D'Errico, Francesco; Douka, Katerina; Faulkner, Patrick ; Groucutt, Huw; Helm, Richard; Herries, Andy; Jembe, Severinus; Kourampas, Nikos; Lee-Thorp, Julia; Marchant, Rob; Mercader, Julio; Pitarch Marti, Africa ; Prendergast, Mary; Rowson, Ben; Tengeza, Amini; Tibesasa, Ruth; White, Tom; Petraglia, Michael ; Boivin, Nicole.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 9, 1832 (2018), 09.05.2018, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Ceri Shipton
  • Patrick Roberts
  • Will Archer
  • Caesar Bita
  • Colin Courtney-Mustaphi
  • Alison Crowther
  • Richard Curtis
  • Francesco D'Errico
  • Katerina Douka
  • Patrick Faulkner
  • Huw Groucutt
  • Richard Helm
  • Andy Herries
  • Severinus Jembe
  • Nikos Kourampas
  • Julia Lee-Thorp
  • Rob Marchant
  • Julio Mercader
  • Africa Pitarch Marti
  • Mary Prendergast
  • Ben Rowson
  • Amini Tengeza
  • Ruth Tibesasa
  • Tom White
  • Michael Petraglia
  • Nicole Boivin


The Middle to Later Stone Age transition in Africa has been debated as a significant shift in human technological, cultural, and cognitive evolution. However, the majority of research on this transition is currently focused on southern Africa due to a lack of long-term, stratified sites across much of the African continent. Here, we report a 78,000-year-long archaeological record from Panga ya Saidi, a cave in the humid coastal forest of Kenya. Following a shift in toolkits ~67,000 years ago, novel symbolic and technological behaviors assemble in a non-unilinear manner. Against a backdrop of a persistent tropical forest-grassland ecotone, localized innovations better characterise the Late Pleistocene of this part of East Africa than alternative emphases on dramatic revolutions or migrations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1832 (2018)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2018
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

ID: 30050661