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Title: The Early Acheulian from Gona, Ethiopia: implications for technological and hominin diet transitions
Authors: Semaw, Sileshi
Rogers, Michael J.
Cáceres, Isabel
Stout, Dietrich
Leiss, Amanda C.
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: American Association of Physical Anthropologists
Citation: Paleoanthropology Society Annual Meeting, 2016, A28
Abstract: Recent investigations have pushed the age of the earliest Acheulian to ~1.75 million years ago (Ma), with the archaeological evidence currently well-documented at Konso in Ethiopia and at Kokiselei in Kenya. The Paleolithic record at Gona, Ethiopia, is documented from semi-continuous, archaeology-rich deposits spanning the past 2.6 million years, providing an opportunity for investigating the emergence of the Acheulian. Since 2012, the Gona archaeology team has been conducting investigations in deposits estimated between 2.0–1.5 Ma in order to explore the timing and the background for the technological transition to the Acheulian. We have documented several new archaeological localities in this time range, including some with large Oldowan-type artifacts similar to Acheulian Large Cutting Tools (LCTs). Research is in progress to refine the age of these sites with radiometric and non-radiometric techniques. Preliminary results suggest that compared to the preceding Oldowan, the makers of the earliest Acheulian were engaged in a different strategy of stone raw material selectivity, based mainly on large size and heavy weight, but also targeting raw materials with good flaking quality where accessible. More significant exploitation of animal carcasses is associated with earlier Oldowan sites than with Acheulian archaeofauna. Preservation biases and a prior research focus on the earliest Oldowan may in part explain the recovery of more cut-marked bones with these sites, but the rarity of large animal fossils with bone modifications at Early Acheulian sites appears to be notable, especially in light of the long-standing assumption that handaxes were used, in part, for animal butchery. The Acheulian is different technologically from the Oldowan, but the ecological background and adaptive significance of this emergent stone technology for H. erectus is unclear. Further, Oldowan-type core/flake artifacts co-existed with the Acheulian, and the nature of the technological transition has yet to be fully investigated and appreciated.
Description: Ponencia presentada en: Paleoanthropology Society Annual Meeting, 12-13 de abril 2016, Atlanta
ISSN: 1545-0031
DOI: 10.4207/PA.2016.ABS14
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Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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