The Middle Palaeolithic site of Birzgane (Tebessa, Algeria): Rock magnetic property characterisation and past rainfall reconstruction
, Defaflia, N.
Earth and related Environmental sciences
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A new Middle Palaeolithic site was discovered at Birzgane, south of the city of Tebessa in eastern Algeria.The archaeological study revealed richness in archaeological artefacts, belonging probably to the Aterianculture, but an absence of pedunculates. The Aterian archaeological layer was assigned to the end of theMiddle Pleistocene by uranium ethorium dating. The environmental conditions at the time wereassessed by means of magnetic proxy data such as hysteresis parameters, magnetic susceptibility andremanent magnetisation.The magnetic fraction of the alluvial sediment contains mainldy oxidised magnetite and smaller amounts of haematite and goethite; indicated by thermal demagnetisation curves of isothermal remanentmagnetisation. Magnetic properties such as enhanced susceptibility, anhysteretic remanent magnetisationand frequency dependent susceptibility indicate that the upper part of the section wassubjected to pedogenesis after deposition. A conceptual magnetic enhancement model was applied toreconstruct past rainfall quantities in the upper part, taking into account present day temperatures andrainfall, water saturation, soil moisture and magnetic susceptibility. A precipitation quantity of 560_ 40 mm was estimated for the transition period from MIS 5 to 4, corresponding to the SaharanPluvial, an extended humid climate period in northern Africa between 100,000 and 70,000 years before present
CitationDjerrab, A.; Spassov, S.; , Defaflia, N.; Hus, J.; Abdessadok, S.; Rurault-Djerrab, M.; Bahra, N.; Ech-Chakrouni, S. (2014). The Middle Palaeolithic site of Birzgane (Tebessa, Algeria): Rock magnetic property characterisation and past rainfall reconstruction. , Issue Quaternary International, p. 63-74, IRM,