Asale Survey

In 2015, we conducted a 14 day paleoanthropological survey of the north-central portion of the Afar, Ethiopia region.  While scientifically promising based on satellite imagery and reports from earlier surveys, the area’s sediments were primarily flat-lying latest Pleistocene-Holocene deposits draped across Mio-Pliocene-aged volcanics.  The few faunal remains discovered included sub-fossils from extant taxa (Phacochoerus, Hippopotamus, Equus, various bovids including Gazella) although numerous Late Stone Age (e.g., obsidian blades) and more recent archeological occurrences were discovered.  Radiocarbon dates from a gastropod shell of 9440+230 BP indicate the sediments were deposited during the African Humid Period – a time of increased rainfall across Saharan Africa.