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    Site formation processes in caves: the Holocene sediments of the Haua Fteah, Cyrenaica, Libya

    Hunt, C.O. and Davison, J. and Inglis, R. and Farr, L. and Reynolds, Tim and Simpson, D. and el Rishi, H.A. and Barker, G. (2010) Site formation processes in caves: the Holocene sediments of the Haua Fteah, Cyrenaica, Libya. Journal of Archaeological Science 37 (7), pp. 1600-1611. ISSN 0305-4403.

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    Caves have yielded some of the most globally important archaeological sequences, but often their interpretation has suffered from assumptions about cave sedimentary processes. Caves contain distinctive sedimentary environments: this has major implications for the understanding of contained archaeological materials. This paper describes and analyses the Holocene sediments in the Haua Fteah, a sequence regarded as essentially continuous by the original excavator. 50 years after it was first excavated, the Haua's Epipalaeolithic to post-Classical chronological range and rich finds make it still the key Holocene archaeological site in North Africa. The reassessment shows, however, that the sequence is strongly discontinuous and this has major implications for the reinterpretation of the site, as the highly-resolved archaeological record is thus likely to reflect a series of brief occupations, rather than continuous human activity. As with many caves, the sedimentary record in the Haua Fteah is an extremely sensitive indicator of environments and processes in the wider landscape. Secure understanding of sedimentary process, from analysis of the highly individual records found in caves, is essential for full understanding of their contained archaeology.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Cave archaeology, North Africa, Libya, Holocene, Facies analysis, Radiocarbon dating
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2011 11:16
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:54


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