Paleoenvironmental and biogeographic implications of terminal Pleistocene large mammals from the Ziway-Shala Basin, Main Ethiopian Rift, Ethiopia

Lesur, Josephine, Faith, J. Tyler, Bon, Francois, Dessie, Assamerew, Menard, Clement and Bruxelles, Laurent (2016) Paleoenvironmental and biogeographic implications of terminal Pleistocene large mammals from the Ziway-Shala Basin, Main Ethiopian Rift, Ethiopia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 449 567-579. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.02.053


Author Lesur, Josephine
Faith, J. Tyler
Bon, Francois
Dessie, Assamerew
Menard, Clement
Bruxelles, Laurent
Title Paleoenvironmental and biogeographic implications of terminal Pleistocene large mammals from the Ziway-Shala Basin, Main Ethiopian Rift, Ethiopia
Journal name Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0031-0182
1872-616X
Publication date 2016-05-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.02.053
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 449
Start page 567
End page 579
Total pages 13
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The terminal Pleistocene is a period of profound climatic and environmental change in Africa, with paleoenvironmental records documenting tremendous regional variation. Environmental records needed to understand these dynamics are currently lacking from the Horn of Africa. Here we provide a new paleoenvironmental record based of new faunal data from archeological sites along the Bulbula River (Ziway–Shala Basin, Main Ethiopian Rift) in Ethiopia. Research conducted in this area has uncovered archeological assemblages that document various phases of the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene. Two sites dated to the terminal Pleistocene are considered here, B1s1 and B1s4. The former includes a very large assemblage of more than 20,000 skeletal remains. Both faunal assemblages are dominated by bovids of the tribes Alcelaphini and Antilopini and include Damaliscus hypsodon, a small extinct alcelaphine. The faunal remains from these sites, like those from the contemporary site of Lukenya Hill in south-central Kenya, are indicative of widespread arid grasslands. Several ungulates are found outside of their historic ranges, including Grant's gazelle (Nanger granti) and Dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas). Their absence from the region today likely reflects a combination of paleoenvironmental change since the end of the Pleistocene coupled with more recent human impacts. The combination of archeological and faunal data suggests that B1s1 could have been a residential site with seasonal occupation to acquire raw material from local obsidian sources and to hunt bovids in the arid plain, including species that ultimately disappear or shift their range at the onset of the Holocene with the return of warmer and moister conditions.
Keyword Horn of Africa
Main Ethiopian Rift
Terminal Pleistocene
Biogeography
Damaliscus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
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