Mochena Borago

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Mochena Borago is a rockshelter and archaeological site situated on the western slope of Mount Damota, nearest to the town of Wolaita Sodo in Ethiopia, located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region. The site is well-dated, with 59 radiocarbon dates, which gives it one of the most secure chronologies among Late Pleistocene sites in the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa. It is one of only a few African sites found with intact deposits dating to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 outside of South Africa, and was potentially a refugium for hunter-gatherering peoples during the cold and arid period of MIS 4. This makes it an important research site for testing the "refugium theory," which states that over the past 70,000 years, during cold, arid conditions, like those of the Last Glacial Maximum and MIS 4, humans sought refuge in the mountains of the southwest Ethiopian Highlands, which received higher rainfall, making them more habitable than the surrounding areas. Research at Mochena Borago is helping to reconstruct human behavior during the Late Pleistocene, and the paleoenvironment that Homo sapiens would have inhabited at this time in the Horn of Africa.