Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 9:05 AM
THE GEOARCHAEOLOGY OF DESERT PAVEMENT DEVELOPMENT IN CENTRAL EGYPT
An archaeological survey conducted by the Abydos Survey for Paleolithic Sites revealed the presence of a rich Paleolithic assemblage on the eastern Libyan Plateau in central Egypt, where significant lithic refits indicate in situ preservation of surface sites. Despite the nearly complete recovery of the largest artifacts, however, smaller fragments </= 2.5 cm in maximum dimension were found in much lower proportions than expected based upon similar assemblages from rock shelter and cave contexts in France. Subsurface investigations of desert pavement surfaces suggest accretionary pavement formation on the eastern Libyan Plateau as well as the loss of the smallest archaeological fragments beneath the surface, where they may be recovered from an otherwise clast-free accretionary Av layer. This pattern of small fragment loss suggests archaeological site formation during pavement development, providing insights into the timing of pavement formation and the length of its stability in this area, as well as informing the nature of the landscape present during Paleolithic tool use on the Plateau.