The Middle Neolithic of Morocco’s North-Western Atlantic Strip: New Evidence from the El-Khil Caves (Tangier)
The period comprising the end of the Early Neolithic and the Middle Neolithic, dated broadly within the fifth millennium cal BC, corresponds to an interval that remains largely unknown in the extreme north-western tip of Africa. This situation contrasts with that of the Early Neolithic, a period characterised by the earliest evidence of the diffusion of a productive economy, cultivated plants and domestic animals. The paucity of data for these later phases can be explained in part by the lack of secure contexts and sequences based on radiocarbon datings of short-lived samples. The current study presents the results of the excavations of El-Khil Caves B and C that yield materials allowing re-evaluation of the chronology of a type of ceramic known as Ashakar ware. The study also identifies two traditions in the northern Moroccan Middle Neolithic. The first is heir to the so-called Impressa Mediterranean ware and rooted in the Cardial Neolithic, while the second is characterised by roulette cord impressions, red slip and tunnel lugs and probably rooted in the region of the Sahara, and has no technological precedents in the study area.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10437-018-9310-6
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