Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12136/1421
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Title: The Early Acheulian archaeology from Gona, Ethiopia: technology and implications on hominin diet
Authors: Semaw, Sileshi
Rogers, Michael J.
Cáceres, Isabel
Leiss, Amanda C.
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: American Association of Physical Anthropologists
Citation: Paleoanthropology Society Annual Meeting, 2019, A33
Abstract: The Gona archaeological sites preserve continuous deposits spanning the past 2.6 million years (with minor gaps), providing an opportunity for investigating the emergence and evolution of the Acheulian. The Gona team has been conducting investigations in deposits estimated between 2.0–1.5 Ma in order to explore the timing and background of the emergence of the Acheulian. We have documented several new archaeological localities estimated to ~1.5 Ma and older, including several localities with Acheulian tool types, and research is in progress to date these sites precisely with both radiometric and non‐radiometric dating techniques. Preliminary studies show that compared to the makers of the preceding Oldowan, H. erectus was engaged in a different kind of raw material selectivity, based mainlyon large size, but also targeting materials with good flaking quality where accessible. Acheulian handaxes have been suggested to be effective butchery tools, but more extensive exploitation of animal carcasses has been documented at earlier Oldowan sites than at Acheulian sites at Gona. The recovery of more abundant cutmarked bones with the Oldowan could, in part, be explained by a prior intensive research focus on the earliest Oldowan sites, and possible preservation biases. However, the rarity of large animal fossils with evidence of butchery for the Early Acheulian at Gona appears to be remarkable, especially in light of one of the main supposed functions of handaxes. The Acheulian is technologically drastically different from the Oldowan, but the ecological background and the adaptive significance of this emergent stone technology in the life of H. erectus has yet to be fully investigated and understood. Further, Oldowan‐type core/flake artifacts co‐existed with the Acheulian, but distinguishing the functional role of the two artifact modes in the life of H. erectus remains unclear.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12136/1421
ISSN: 1545-0031
DOI: 10.4207/PA.2019.ABS17
Editor version: http://paleoanthro.org/journal/volumes/2019/
Type: Presentation
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Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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