View
Publication Type
Book Chapter
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Allsworth-Jones, Philip
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of History
Title, Analytic
Diamonds, alluvials, and artefacts: The Stone Age in Sierra Leone and the cotton tree museum
Medium Designator
n/a
Connective Phrase
n/a
Author, Monographic
Milliken, S; Cook, J.
Author Role
Editor
Title, Monographic
A very remote period indeed: Papers on the Palaeolithic presented to Derek Roe
Reprint Status
n/a
Edition
n/a
Place of Publication
Oxford
Publisher Name
Oxbow Books
Date of Publication
2002
Volume ID
n/a
Issue ID
n/a
Page(s)
47-62
Series Editor
n/a
Series Editor Role
n/a
Series Title
n/a
Series Volume Identification
n/a
Series Issue Identification
n/a
Connective Phrase
n/a
Location/URL
n/a
Notes
n/a
Abstract
The potential significance of the Quaternary sequence in Sierra Leone and its possible relevance for the earlier Stone Age prehistory of West Africa became clear with the publication in 1980 by Thomas and Thorp of thirty-eight radiocarbon dates from alluvial contexts in the east central part of the country. The majority of the dates related to the period after 12,430 years ago, but there were six between 35,900 and 20,500 B. P. In the more northerly of the two areas that they investigated, Carleton Coon's excavations at Yengema Cave had previously revealed an upper occupation with ground stone axes and pottery TL dated to between 4150 and 3450 B. P. Beneath this occupation was one characterised by bifacially flaked implements called by Coon 'Lupembo-Tshitolian' and regarded by him as early Holocene in date. In the light of the new discoveries it was thought worthwhile to re-examine the situation, and a visit to Sierra Leone was accordingly made in October 1986. Apart from obtaining information and collecting artefacts derived from the alluvial deposits at Yengema (thanks to the courtesy of the National Diamond Mining Company of Sierra Leone), the opportunity was also granted to study the collections at the Sierra Leone National Museum in Freetown, many of which also came from the alluvial deposits. It appears that the majority of this material does belong to the later part of the Stone Age sequence, but there are occasional indications of an earlier presence. A scientific visit to the diamond fields today would be out of the question, and it is now clear how far the collections at the Cotton Tree Museum have survived the ravages of the civil war. The 'international community' should awake to its responsibilities in this regard.....
read more