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evulsion

Capsian culture

The Capsian culture (named after the town of Gafsa in Tunisia) was a Mesolithic culture of the Maghreb, which lasted from about 10,000 to 6,000 BCE. It was concentrated mainly in modern Algeria, and Tunisia, with some sites attested in Cyrenaica (Ancient Libya). It is traditionally divided into two variants, the Capsien typique (Typical Capsian)and the Capsien supérieur (Upper Capsian) which are sometimes found in chronostratigraphic sequence. They represent variants of one tradition, the differences between them being both typological and technological.

During this period, the environment of the Maghreb was open savanna, much like modern East Africa, with Mediterranean forests at higher altitudes. The Capsian diet included a wide variety of animals, ranging from aurochs and hartebeest to hares and snails; there is little evidence concerning plants eaten.. During the succeeding Neolithic of Capsian Tradition, there is evidence from one site, for domesticated, probably imported, ovicaprids.

Anatomically, Capsian populations were modern Homo sapiens, traditionally classed into two "racial" types: Mechta-Afalou and Proto-mediterranean on the basis of cranial morphology. Some have argued that they were immigrants from the east, whereas others argue for population continuity based on physical skeletal characteristics and other criteria, et cetera.

Nothing is known about Capsian religion, but their burial methods suggest a belief in an afterlife. Decorative art is widely found at their sites, including figurative and abstract rock art, and ocher is found coloring both tools and corpses. Ostrich eggshells were used to make beads and containers; seashells were used for necklaces. The Ibero-Maurusian practice of evulsion of the central incisors continued sporadically, but became rarer.

The Capsian culture is identified by some historical linguists as a possible ancestor of the speakers of modern Afroasiatic languages of Africa and the Middle East and of the Berber languages in North Africa.

The Eburran industry which dates between 13,000 and 9,000 BCE in East Africa, was formerly known as the "Kenya Capsian" due to similarities in the stone blade shapes. There is no proven relationship with the Capsian.

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