Kiffian culture is an ancient culture that existed during the prehistoric period in the region of present-day Niger and Mali in sub-Saharan Africa. This culture is named after the archaeological site of Kiffa in Mauritania, where artifacts related to this culture were discovered.
Kiffians may have been Nilo-Saharan or Niger-Congo speakers.
Kiffian culture is known for its unique form of stone tool-making and fishing techniques, as fishing played a major role in their daily subsistence. The culture is believed to have emerged around 8,000 BC during the early Holocene period and lasted for several millennia. Between 8000 and 6000 bc, it is believe Kiffian domain actually existed in the Sahara Desert. It was during the African humid period. Also referred to as the Neolithic Subpluvial. The people of Kiffian culture were great hunter-gatherers who lived in communities near water sources such as lakes and rivers. They relied on wild animals, fish, and plants for their food.
Given there size there were skilled hunters. Many human specimens have been found over 6 feet tall. Craniometric, (measurement of skull)) analysis by scientists have identified the population may have been related to late pleistocene iberomaurusians, holocene capsians (link), as well as mecta groups. There formation was probably as a result of the Green Sahara.
One of the key characteristics of the Kiffian culture was the production of microliths, small stone tools that were used for hunting and fishing. These microliths included arrowheads, spearheads, and fishing hooks. Kiffian culture is also known for its distinctive pottery, which was decorated with geometric patterns and zig zags. Human remains from this culture were found in 2000 AD at a site known as Gobero, located in Niger in the Ténéré Desert. The site is known as the largest and earliest burial place of Stone Age people in the Sahara desert.
Due to the Sahara dry period. Traces of the Kiffian culture do not exist after 6,000 BC. After this time, the Tenerian culture (link) colonized the area.
The decline of the Kiffian culture is believed to have been caused by climate change, which led to the drying out of the region’s lakes and rivers, making it more difficult for the Kiffian people to sustain themselves. They eventually disappeared, as did many other prehistoric cultures of the region.
Check them out, with some more neolithic architecture today.
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Wilford, John Noble (2008-08-14). “Graves Found From Sahara’s Green Period” (https://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/15/science/15sahara.html). New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
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