Geology of the Late Pleistocene artifact-bearing Wasiriya Beds at the Nyamita locality, Rusinga Island, Kenya.




Van Plantinga, Alexander A.

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This study investigated the sedimentology and stratigraphy of the Late Pleistocene Wasiriya Beds at the Nyamita locality on Rusinga Island, Kenya in northeastern Lake Victoria. Little is yet known about this region during the Pleistocene. This study provides geological context for archaeological research of the stone artifacts in the Wasiriya Beds, for the paleontological work on the fauna of these beds, and for other paleoenvironmental research in these beds. A robust tephrostratigraphic framework was established using diverse statistical methods. Radiocarbon dates confirm a Late Pleistocene age for these deposits. A valley-drainage model was integrated with a facies model to infer their paleoenvironmental history. Sediments suggest a generally sharply alternating wet and dry seasonality. Geological evidence does not suggest that the Lake Victoria region was especially arid just prior to the Last Glacial Maximum. Additional data from the lower Wasiriya Beds could elaborate on their paleoenvironmental significance.