Age dating technique
Both are microlithic tool complexes that persisted after the introduction of Neolithic traits into the area.The Pleistocene terrace gravels of the Nile Valley in Egypt have produced a wealth of Paleolithic materials.Geological investigations of the Late Cenozoic deposits of this continent indicate that, as the result of fluctuations in rainfall, the Pleistocene Epoch throughout most of Africa can be subdivided on the basis of a succession of pluvial and interpluvial stages.The pluvials, known as Kageran, Kamasian, Kanjeran, and Gamblian, are believed to represent the tropical and subtropical equivalents of the four major glacial stages of the Northern Hemisphere, but this has not yet been proved.The 30-metre terrace contains typical Abbevillian and early Acheulean hand axes, including a special form with a triangular section known as the Chalossian type.These are associated with primitive flake implements.The Stellenbosch was followed by the Fauresmith, which is characterized by evolved hand axes and Levallois-type flakes.The Stellenbosch and Fauresmith together constitute what is called the South African Older Stone Age, a period roughly corresponding to the Lower and Middle Paleolithic stages of Europe.
It contains very highly evolved flake implements of Levallois type and, in its later phases, a definite microlithic industry.
Their main development took place during the time span of the European Mesolithic.
The Capsian sites are all inland, whereas the Oranian has a coastal distribution.
The true Stellenbosch complex occurs in the next-younger series of deposits; it is simply a Southern African version of the Abbevillian and Acheulean of other parts of Africa and Europe.
Typical are hand axes, cleavers, flakes struck from Victoria West cores, and (in its later phases) various sorts of flakes produced by the prepared striking-platform–tortoise-core technique.