Later Stone Age

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African biface artifact (spear point) dated in Late Stone Age period.
African biface artifact (scraper/cutting tool) dated in Late Stone Age period.

The Later Stone Age (commonly abbreviated as LSA) refers to a period in African prehistory. Its beginnings are roughly contemporaneous with the European Upper Paleolithic. It lasts until historical times and thus includes cultures corresponding to Mesolithic and Neolithic in other regions.

Main characteristics[edit]

The LSA follows the Middle Stone Age and begins about 50,000 years ago. The LSA is characterized by a wider variety in stone artifacts than the previous MSA period. These artifacts vary with time and location, unlike Middle Stone Age technology which appeared to have been relatively unchanged for several hundreds of thousands of years. LSA technology is also characterized by the use of bone tools. The LSA was associated with Modern human behavior[1] but this view was modified after discoveries in MSA sites such as Blombos Cave or Pinnacle Point.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Klein, Richard (2003). "Body before behavior". The Dawn of Human Culture. New York, N.Y.: Wiley. ISBN 0-471-25252-2. 

Further reading[edit]