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Levallois reduction is widespread across the whole of North Africa throughout the Middle Stone Age, and scrapers and denticulates are ubiquitous.
Bifacial foliates moreover represent a huge taxonomic category and the form and dimension of such foliates associated with tanged tools is extremely varied.
Archeology is the scientific study of past human culture and behavior, from the origins of humans to the present.
Archaeology studies past human behavior through the examination of material remains of previous human societies.
For example, bifacial leaf points are found widely across North Africa in assemblages that lack tanged tools and Levallois flakes and cores are near ubiquitous.
Instead of elaborating discrete industries, the findings of the comparative study suggest that North Africa during the Last Interglacial comprised a network of related technologies whose similarities and differences correlated with geographical distance and the palaeohydrology of a Green Sahara.
Studies of the variation and distribution of the Aterian have also now suggested that associated populations lived in subdivided populations, perhaps living most of their lives in relative isolation and aggregating at particular times to reinforce social ties.
It has so far been difficult to estimate whether Aterian populations further inland were exploiting freshwater resources as well.
[In Exploring Methods of Faunal Analysis: Perspectives from California Archaeology, edited by Michael A. Entire contents Copyright 2001-2015 by Coyote Press.
Douglass, Richard Ciolek-Torrello, Sarah Van Galder, Benjamin R. The Coleville and Bodie Hills NRCS Soil Inventory, Walker and Bridgeport, California: A Reevaluation of the Bodie Hills Obsidian Source (CA-MNO-4527) and Its Spatial and Chronological Use. Spatial and Temporal Distributions of Archaeological Heated-Rock Cooking Structures in the Transverse Mountain Ranges: Proposed Markers of Land-Use Shifts since the Early Holocene [SCA Proceedings - PDF].
Grenda, Jeffrey Homburg, Manuel Palacios-Fest, Steven Shelley, Angela Keller and Davis Maxwell Spatial and Temporal Distributions of Archaeological Heated-Rock Cooking Structures in the Transverse Mountain Ranges: Proposed Markers of Land-Use Shifts since the Early Holocene [SCA Proceedings - PDF].
Assemblages with tanged tools may therefore reflect particular activities involving the use of such tool types, and may not necessarily reflect a substantively different archaeological culture to others from the same period in North Africa.
The findings are significant because they suggest that current archaeological nomenclatures do not reflect the true variability of the archaeological record of North Africa during the Middle Stone Age from the Last Interglacial, and hints at how early modern humans dispersed into previously uninhabitable environments.
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The Aterian is primarily distinguished through the presence of tanged or pedunculated tools, Bifacially-worked, leaf-shaped tools are also a common artefact type in Aterian assemblages, and so are racloirs and Levallois flakes and cores.