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Lecture 3

Archaeology Lecture Three + Readings

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Christopher Watts

EARLY HOMININ CULTURES Tool Traditions NOTE: Lower Palaeolithic lasted 2.5MYA 300KYA Stone tools found at East Africa date about to the time of H. habilis o Anthropologists surmise that H. habilis made the tools rather than the australopithecines since they had a the greater brain capacity All the hominins that lived from at least 2.5MYA had a thumb capable of toolmaking Earliest tools found come from the sites in East Africa (Olduvai Gorge) and date up to 2.5MYA o Oldowan is the earliest stone toolmaking tradition, which is named after the tools found in Bed I at the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania Stone artifacts include core tools and sharp-edged flakes by striking one against another (known as percussion flaking) Flake tools predominate Pebble choppers are the most common of the core tools Unifacial tool: a tool worked or flaked on one side only Bifacial tool: a tool worked or flaked on two sides Lifestyles (TEXTBOOK ONLY) Some purposes of Oldowan tools is slitting hides of animals, whittling wood into spears etc. o Scratches parallel to a tool indicates tool was used in a sawing motion o Perpendicular scratches suggest whittling or scraping Archaeologists believe early tools were also made of wood and bone Evidence shows on animal remains that hominins shortly after 2MYA were cutting up animal carcasses for meat using stone flake tools Artifacts and animal remains in Bed I and lower part of Bed II at Olduvai suggest a few things about the lifestyles of hominins o Appears that hominins moved around during the year o Most sites in the gorge seem to have been used during dry seasons
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