CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An early blade-and-burinindustry of Cyrenaica, Libya, dating to 40,000-14,000 years ago. It is thought to be the oldest dated blade-and-burinindustry of Upper Palaeolithictype and is recorded from only two sites: Hagfed ed-Dabba and the Haua Fteah. The Dabban is clearly related in some way to the broadly contemporary Upper Palaeolithiccomplex of Europe and the Near East with backed blades, burins, and endscrapers being its most characteristic artifacts. Its origins are still unknown. Dabban occupation of Haua Fteah continued until c12,000 BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large cave site in Cyrenaica, Libya, with the most complete sequence, back to c 78,000 BC, of Upper Pleistocene and Holocene industries known from a single site in North Africa. The oldest flintindustry is a Libyan variant of the pre-Aurignacian (Libyan Amudian), and is followed successively by Levalloiso-Mousterian (60,000 years ago), Dabban (40,000 years ago), Oranian (18-16,000 years ago), Libyco-Capsian, and finally (from c 6800-6400) by Neolithic with pottery and domesticated animals. Based upon the striking of parallel-sided blades from prismatic cores, the earliest stage has clear affinities with broadly contemporary industries in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. Its makers exploited both large game animals and seafood resources. There was a return to bladetechnology with the Dabbanindustry and the beginning of the Dabban occupation of Crenaica seems to have coincided with the onset of very arid conditions in the Saharan regions to the south. The Oranian had small backed bladelets.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Khor-Musa CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site of Middle Palaeolithic occupation in the southern Nile Valley of Egypt in the Second Cataract. It has given its name to the final phase of the Nubian 'Middle Stone Age' for other sites close to the River Nile and contemporary with, or following, the Aterian. The site had Levallois flakes, denticulates, and burins. It seems probable that the Khormusan industry was broadly contemporary with the Dabban of Cyrenaica, belonging to the period following c 40,000 BC when increased aridity rendered the Sahara uninhabitable. Faunal remains from Khormusan sites indicate fishing and the hunting of land animals.