“Nubian Point” from the Lower Nil Valley


This is a Nubian (Levallois) Point, very different from the European or Levantine Levallois Points (10x6x0,5 cm). Such broad pointed Flakes are the end product of an operational chain, usually starting with the production of Nubian 2-mode cores.

Nubian points are part of the Middle Paleolithic / MSA Nubian complex in the lower Nil valley. A number of tool types are present in this assemblages, such as bifacial foliates and thick Nubian scrapers (only during the early Nubian complex), Nubian Points, as shown in this post and Nazlet Khater points (Nubian points with inverse retouching of the tip) and truncated­-facetted pieces. Several diachronic phases can be distinguished in the Nubian Complex. Among the oldest are those that are characterised by the presence of thin bifacial tools, in addition to the Nubian technique. These assemblages belong to the Early Middle Palaeolithic, and are of Middle Pleistocene age. The Late Nubian Complex is present from about 100 k.a.BP, in the Early Late Pleistocene.

The Nubian cores were first described by Guichard and Guichard, which separated two types. The Type 1 its a  Levallois pointed core prepared by two unidirectional divergent removals undertaken from the distal part of the core. Type 2 cores are marked by an elaborated centripetal preparation arranged perpendicularly to the central axis of the triangular silhouette of the Levallois surface from which a Levallois point, unlike the ‘‘classical’’ Levallois point,  is struck. Guichard and Guichard  did not consider the objective of this second scheme as a Levallois point sensu stricto, given that the preferential removal does not follow a central guiding ridge. However, all Researchers conclude that the product of this reduction is a triangular Levallois flake.

At some sites, for example at Dhofar (Oman) an overlap between the preparation methods, which culminate in the shaping of Nubian Type 1 and Type 2 cores, may be identified as ‘‘Nubian Type 1/2’’. This plasticity in core dorsal surface preparation is also present at the Hadramawt region in Yemen. Concerning the plasticity within the Nubian technology and the interchangeability between the Nubian Type 1 and Type 2 cores, Chiotti et al. argue in favor of condensing these preparation methods into a general Nubian technology.

The Nubian Complex

The Early Nubian Complex

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