Marina Gallinaro: Mobility and Pastoralism in the Egyptian Western Desert. Steinplätze in the Holocene Regional Settlement Patterns

Firenze, Arid Zone Archaeology, Monographs 7, 2018, XX+180 pp., ISBN 978-88-781-4861-1
  • Stefano BiagettiEmail author
Book Review

Mobility and Pastoralism in the Egyptian Western Desert represents the outcome of more than ten years of research carried out by Marina Gallinaro in the Eastern Sahara. The author, who has considerable experience with fieldwork and research in North Africa, focuses on one of the most problematic archaeological features from the Holocene Sahara, the so-called Steinplätze, or hearth-mounds, consisting of roughly circular concentrations of pebbles or stone fragments, often characterized by a raised profile. These features, which dot many regions of the Sahara, were first studied systematically by Baldur Gabriel (1987), who recognized them as traces of fireplaces left on the ground by mobile pastoralists as a result of cooking food without pottery. Yet, the scarcity of materials and the lack of associated archaeological deposits have so far discouraged comprehensive and well-articulated approaches to the Steinplätze. Far from simply filling that gap, Gallinaro’s book tackles the...



  1. Gabriel, B. (1987). Palaeoecological evidence from neolithic fireplaces in the Sahara. African Archaeological Review, 5(1), 93–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies (GAES)University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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