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Algiers, Algeria

Mercier N.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Le Quellec J.-L.,CNRS | Hachid M.,CNRPAH | Agsous S.,Institute Of Paleontologie Humaine | Grenet M.,TRACES
Quaternary Geochronology | Year: 2012

The Tassili-n-Ajjer plateau is famous for its tens of thousands of pictographs discovered in the mid-XX th century. Despite extensive studies aimed at preserving this art inscribed on the World Heritage List, the antiquity of these paintings remains hotly debated. Because recent attempts at dating with radiocarbon failed to provide reliable results, an OSL dating study focused on Quaternary deposits preserved at the feet of painted walls and which can be connected to them was undertaken. Thirteen sediment samples were collected from below and above the palaeosol where the painters might have lived. The OSL results indicate that the paintings are younger than ∼9-10 ka, but unfortunately they do not allow us to narrow the time interval during which they were made. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Kherbouche F.,CNRPAH | Hachi S.,CNRPAH | Abdessadok S.,MNHN | Sehil N.,CNRPAH | And 7 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

The limestone Adrar Gueldaman ridges of the northwestern Babors Mountains of the Tellian region (Northern Algeria) contain a large karst network with several caves. Inside one of them (GLD 1), first excavated in the 1920s, an Early Neolithic episode was identified. Since 2010, new investigations by the Centre National de Recherches Préhistoriques, Anthropologiques et Historiques, Algeria (CNRPAH), at GLD 1 and other newly discovered caves have revealed well-preserved anthropogenic deposits. The GLD1 deposits are more than 5m deep. Four sectors (S1-S4) have been spatially defined, of which two (S2 and S3) were partially investigated. Eight samples of wood charcoal from these sectors were radiocarbon dated by AMS giving median dates ranging from 1484calBP to 17,031calBP. The main human occupation sequence at GLD1 is situated around the VI and VII millennia BP with virtually all of the archaeological deposits coming from these layers. Deeper occupation levels have not yet been investigated. Bio-archaeological remains are well preserved (mammal bones, mollusc shells and plant-remains) and linked with cultural material (ceramics, ornaments, lithic and bone tools). Multi-disciplinary analysis of this material is underway and here we report on the preliminary findings, which already bring new insights into the neolithisation process of this region. Evidence of sheep and goat domestication at more than 6 ka cal BP is particularly significant. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Merzoug S.,CNRPAH | Kherbouche F.,CNRPAH | Sehil N.,CNRPAH | Chelli R.,CNRPAH | Hachi S.,CNRPAH
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

The GDL1 cave belongs to the large karst network of the Adrar Gueldaman ridges (Northern Algeria). New excavations by the Centre National de Recherches Préhistoriques, Anthropologiques et Historiques (CNRPAH) since 2010 have yielded rich archaeological remains dated between 7002calBP and 1484calBP. The paper presents results of the zooarchaeological analysis of the macromammals from the Neolithic units in sectors S2 and S3. They reveal the presence of a restricted fauna, dominated by sheep and goat, goat being more frequent than sheep. Domestic cattle and pig may also be present. The age profiles of the goat/sheep finds suggest a shift in the management of the sheep/goat herds aiming first at the production of meat and later at the production of meat and secondary products. © 2015.

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