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Journal Articles Journal of Human Evolution Year : 2004

The earliest human occupation of North Africa: a reply to
Sahnouni et al. (2002)

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Abstract

In a series of papers, Sahnouni et al. (1996, 2002) and Sahnouni and de Heinzelin (1998) have reported the results of their renewed excavations at
the important Algerian localities of Ain Hanech and Ain Boucherit, first studied by Arambourg (e.g., Arambourg, 1970, 1979). According to the latest paper by Sahnouni and co-workers (Sahnouni et al., 2002), Ain Hanech would belong to the Olduvai subchron, dated to 1.77–1.95 Ma. This would make it by far the earliest North African site with evidence of hominid presence, and the time-equivalent of Olduvai Bed I, circum- KBS tuff levels at Koobi Fora, and Omo Shungura Member H. However, a review of the evidence put forward by Sahnouni et al. (2002) casts doubt on their conclusions. This evidence consists of 1) paleomagnetism, 2) biochronology, and 3) archaeology. They are discussed in this order below, preceded by a review of the more continuous Moroccan Atlantic sequence.
Discussion de l'appartenance au subchron Olduvai pour le gisement de l'Ain Hanech proposée par Sahnouni et al. sur la base des éléments connus pour la longue séquence continue du Plio-pléistocène du Maroc atlantique (région de Rabat-Casablanca principalement).
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Dates and versions

halshs-00003986 , version 1 (07-07-2005)

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Denis Geraads, Jean-Paul Raynal, Vera Eisenmann. The earliest human occupation of North Africa: a reply to
Sahnouni et al. (2002). Journal of Human Evolution, 2004, 46, pp.751-761. ⟨10.1016/j.jhevol.2004.01.008⟩. ⟨halshs-00003986⟩
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