Archaeology: Tools go back in time

  title={Archaeology: Tools go back in time},
  author={Erella Hovers},
The finding of 3.3-million-year-old stone flints, cores, hammers and anvils in Kenya suggests that the first stone tools were made by human ancestors that pre-dated the earliest known members of the genus Homo. See Article p.310 
Group-specific archaeological signatures of stone tool use in wild macaques
The results suggest that tool-use may develop differently within species of old-world monkeys, and that the evidence of material culture can differ within the same timeframe at local geographic scales and in spite of shared environmental and ecological settings.
Oldowan hominin behavior and ecology at Kanjera South,Kenya.
  • T. Plummer, L. Bishop
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of anthropological sciences = Rivista di antropologia : JASS
  • 2016
This research indicates that hominin activities were situated in an open habitat within a grassland dominated ecosystem, the first documentation of an archaeological site in such an open setting, and suggest that the Kanjera hominins utilized a technological system that allowed them to extract nutrient dense animal and plant foods from their environment.
Before the Acheulean in East Africa: An Overview of the Oldowan Lithic Assemblages
In 2009, Hovers and Braun published in Springer’s Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series the volume “Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Oldowan,” stemming from the symposium of the
Nut Cracking Tools Used by Captive Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and Their Comparison with Early Stone Age Percussive Artefacts from Olduvai Gorge
This study represents the first direct comparison of chimpanzee pounding tools and archaeological material, and thus may contribute to a better understanding of hominin percussive activities.
Impact of the Palaeolithic Toolmaking on the Evolution of Cognition and Language
In the past two decades great interest has emerged for interdisciplinary discussion on the evolution of cognition and specifically language (e.g. Jankovi and ‘ojer 2015). Recent work strongly
Biochemical, Cellular, Physiological, and Pathological Consequences of Human Loss of N‐Glycolylneuraminic Acid
Comparisons with chimpanzees within ethical and practical limitations have revealed some consequences of human CMAH loss, but more has been learned by using a mouse model with a human‐like Cmah inactivation that could provide a model for other human‐specific processes and pathologies involving sialic acid biology that have yet to be explored.
This study indicates that cervids forage heavily on planted seedlings during the first growing-season, but exclusion and tree species selection is effective at reducing herbivory.


3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, Kenya
The discovery of Lomekwi 3 is reported, a 3.3-million-year-old archaeological site where in situ stone artefacts occur in spatiotemporal association with Pliocene hominin fossils in a wooded palaeoenvironment and the name ‘Lomekwian’ is proposed, which predates the Oldowan by 700,000 years and marks a new beginning to the known archaeological record.
Excavation of a Chimpanzee Stone Tool Site in the African Rainforest
The data unearthed show that chimpanzees transported stones from outcrops and soils to focal points, where they used them as hammers to process foodstuff and the repeated use of activity areas led to refuse accumulation and site formation.
4,300-Year-old chimpanzee sites and the origins of percussive stone technology
The “Chimpanzee Stone Age” pre-dates the advent of settled farming villages in this part of the African rainforest and suggests that percussive material culture could have been inherited from an common human–chimpanzees clade, rather than invented by hominins.
Older than the Oldowan? Rethinking the emergence of hominin tool use
Using information from primatology, functional morphology, phylogeny, archeology, and paleoanthropology, we argue that before 2.5 mya hominins may have used tools, including unmodified and possibly
Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia
The discovery of stone-tool-inflicted marks on bones found during recent survey work in Dikika, Ethiopia, extends by approximately 800,000 years the antiquity of stone tools and ofStone- tool-assisted consumption of ungulates by hominins and can now be attributed to Australopithecus afarensis.
Tool making, hand morphology and fossil hominins
  • M. Marzke
  • Biology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2013
Comparative dissections, kinematic analyses and biomechanical studies indicate that humans do have a unique pattern of muscle architecture and joint surface form and functions consistent with the derived capabilities of stone tool making and use of the tools.
Reassessing manual proportions in Australopithecus afarensis.
A resampling approach that includes the entire assemblage of complete hand elements at Hadar, and takes into account uncertainties in identifying phalanges by individual, side and digit number provides the most conservative estimates of manual proportions in Au.
Environmental and Behavioral Evidence Pertaining to the Evolution of Early Homo
  • R. Potts
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Current Anthropology
  • 2012
East African paleoenvironmental data increasingly inform an understanding of environmental dynamics. This understanding focuses less on habitat reconstructions at specific sites than on the regional