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Old stones’ song—second verse: use-wear analysis of rhyolite and fenetized andesite artifacts from the Oldowan lithic industry of Kanjera South, Kenya

Lemorini, C, Bishop, LC, Plummer, TW, Braun, DR, Ditchfield, PW and Oliver, JS (2019) Old stones’ song—second verse: use-wear analysis of rhyolite and fenetized andesite artifacts from the Oldowan lithic industry of Kanjera South, Kenya. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. ISSN 1866-9557

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Abstract

This paper investigates Oldowan hominin behavioral ecology through use-wear analysis of artifacts from Kanjera South, Western Kenya. It extends development of our experimental use-wear reference collection and analysis of use-wear on the well preserved and unweathered Oldowan tools from this site to include rhyolite, a non-local material of similar durability to previously studied quartz and quartzite tools, and fenetized andesite, a local material with considerably less durability. Variability in rhyolite and fenetized andesite texture, inclusions, and matrix required enhancement of previous methods so we combine the use of stereoscopic, metallographic, and scanning electron microscopy in this study. This study allows us to begin exploration of the links between specific artifactual raw materials and the materials they were used to process. Data assembled so far suggest that tools fashioned from non-local and local stone were, with one possible exception, used to process similar materials. Additionally, experiments carried out with replicas of tools made of rhyolite and fenetized andesite confirm interpretation of reduction sequences that tools made of less durable local material had a shorter use-life and were used expediently compared to the more durable non-local quartz, quartzite, and rhyolite. These new data improve our understanding, of the functional needs, behavioral solutions, and cognitive capacities of Oldowan hominins. Finally, these data show how use-wear analysis, combined with lithic raw material and lithic technology, can be a powerful means for evaluating two key points for human evolution: long-term memory, and planning.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2101 Archaeology, 0403 Geology, 0399 Other Chemical Sciences
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2019 11:28
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2019 11:34
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s12520-019-00800-z
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10418

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