Middle Stone Age

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This article is about the term as applied to African prehistory. See Mesolithic for the "middle" period of the Stone Age in general. See Middle Paleolithic for the "middle" part of the "Old Stone Age".


The Middle Stone Age (or MSA) was a period of African Prehistory between Early Stone Age and Late Stone Age. It began around 300,000 years ago and ended around 50,000 years ago. It is considered as an equivalent of European Middle Paleolithic. It is associated with anatomically modern or almost modern Homo sapiens. Early physical evidence comes from Omo , both in Ethiopia and dated respectively at c. 195 ka and at c. 160 ka.

Middle Stone Age artifacts

Middle Stone Age artifacts were manufactured at Blombos Cave in South Africa 70 ka. Pierced and ochred Nassarius shell beads were also recovered from Blombos, with even earlier examples (Middle Stone Age, Aterian) from the Taforalt Caves. Arrows and hide working tools have been found at Sibudu Cave as evidence of making weapons with compound heat treated gluing technology<ref...
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