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Title: The Gona archaeological investigations, afar, Ethiopia: overview of major research results
Authors: Semaw, Sileshi
Rogers, Michael J.
Cáceres, Isabel
Stout, Dietrich
Levin, Naomi E.
Stinchcomb, Gary
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Institut Català de Paleocologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES)
Citation: III Jornadas de Prehistoria Africana, 2017, p. 19
Abstract: The Gona Palaeoanthroplogy study area, Afar, Ethiopia, is well known for yielding the earliest Old¬owan, sophisticated stone artifacts well-confirmed to have been crafted by ancestral hominins 2.6 million years ago (Ma). Continuous field and laboratory investigations since 1999 have re¬vealed that Gona contains Mio-Pleistocene fossiliferous deposits with rich fauna and hominins, all found within key time intervals in human evolution. At Gona, Pleistocene sediments preserve the most continuous archaeological record in East Africa with earliest Oldowan, later Oldowan, Early and Late Acheulian, and Middle Stone Age assemblages all represented. These archaeological materials are critical for our understanding of human technological/cultural evolution by illuminat¬ing behavioral changes in hominin stone tool manufacture and use during the past 2.6 million years. Two decades of archaeological investigations at Gona have allowed a better understanding of the earliest stone technology, hominin raw material selectivity, and functions of these stone artifacts. Our recent field and laboratory research was focused on the early and late Acheulian and the much younger deposits with MSA artifacts, all associated with archaeofauna documenting hominin induced cut marks. The Acheulian, a technological stage drastically different from the Oldowan, is well-documented at Gona, but the ecological background and its adaptive significance in the life of H. erectus has yet to be fully investigated and appreciated. Further, Oldowan-type core/flake ar¬tifacts co-existed with the Acheulian, and the nature of the technological transition to the Acheulian is still unclear. Over the past few years the Gona team has carried out focused investigations on sev¬eral MSA sites where we have documented substantial amount of materials including stone artifacts, fauna and a hominin. Gona is among only a handful of palaeoanthropological study areas in Africa that have the poten¬tial for investigating the entire range of biological and behavioral evolution of ancestral hominins. Here we highlight some of the major results of the archaeological investigations carried out over the past 18 years.
Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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