Agazi Negash

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Addis Ababa U.

Grant number

Gr. 10269

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Negash, Agazi (Addis Ababa U.) "Raw material transport in the Middle Stone Age of Ethiopia: a geochemical approach"

Funding is requested for fieldwork and laboratory instrumental analysis of obsidians in Ethiopia in order to investigate long distance transport of raw materials, regarded by most prehistorians as one of the criteria that characterizes the emergence of modern human behavior. Previous pilot study has shown some Middle Stone Age artifacts being brought from as far as 250km away with a significant relevance to the understanding of the emergence of modern human behavior. However the study has also shown the need to undertake further investigations as the geologic origin of the obsidian artifacts of many of the sites is still unknown. This proposal is to undertake further field work in Ethiopia, as the country provides a unique opportunity for such investigations due its abundant geological and archaeological obsidian. Electron microprobe is the chosen instrument of analysis as it is non-destructive and is relatively inexpensive. Data generated from this project can be used to examine raw material procurement and changes through time and interaction spheres of any time period in prehistory, and thus, has relevance to the overall mission of the Wenner Gren Foundation.