In many parts of Africa and especially in the cradle of humankind digging is almost certain to unearth stone artifacts of africa's ancient past.
Just like in other parts of the world, where there has been a long historical occupation of a city or region, turning the soil unearths buried history. Bone, cloth, wood and manuscript.
Africa however is different, its soils are, in many cases, ancient and acidic. They eat pretty much anything that end up on or in the soil. Bone, wood etc. don't stand a chance. The one exception is certain types of rock and stone. Fortunately our prehistoric ancestors utilised a lot of stone in their everyday lives. Add to that they were also a "throw away" society (litter-bugging has ancient roots) and we find that just beneath the surface africa is literally covered with all kinds of ancient stone artifacts. The garbage heap of aeons past.
These can be found in some places simply lying on the surface where ancient living or erosional surfaces have been exhumed. However if one needs to dig one is almost certain to encounter a very common sub-surface layer called the "pebble marker".
This represents the most recent erosional surface where conditions have switched from erosional to depositional. The erosion that occured in the past removed the finer material and left the more coarse material. Later deposition then covered this leaving us with a buried layer or subsurface pavement.
It's this layer that is frequently encountered while digging and this is where the artifacts that have accumulated are found.
We did a lot of digging for planting the new orchard and encountered this layer in many of the holes, some produced artifacts.
Below is a small butch of stone artifacts encountered. They represent the full assemblage of stone age periods and even into the iron age. I will describe these in detail in follow up posts.