Facial reconstruction

Search LJMU Research Online

Browse Repository | Browse E-Theses

Expanded geographic distribution and dietary strategies of the earliest Oldowan hominins and Paranthropus

Plummer, TW, Oliver, JS, Finestone, EM, Ditchfield, PW, Bishop, L, Blumenthal, SA, Lemorini, C, Caricola, I, Bailey, SE, Herries, AIR, Parkinson, JA, Whitfield, E, Hertel, F, Kinyanjui, RN, Vincent, TH, Li, Y, Louys, J, Frost, SR, Braun, DR, Reeves, JS , Early, EDG, Onyango, B, Lamela-Lopez, R, Forrest, FL, He, H, Lane, TP, Frouin, M, Nomade, S, Wilson, EP, Bartilol, SK, Rotich, NK and Potts, R (2023) Expanded geographic distribution and dietary strategies of the earliest Oldowan hominins and Paranthropus. Science, 379 (6632). pp. 561-566. ISSN 0036-8075

Plummer et al. article Final combined.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (4MB) | Preview


The oldest Oldowan tool sites, ca. 2.6 million years ago (Ma), have previously been confined to Ethiopia’s Afar Triangle. We describe sites at Nyayanga, Kenya, dated to 3.032-2.581 Ma, and expand this distribution by over 1300 km. Furthermore, we found two hippopotamid butchery sites associated with mosaic vegetation and a C4 grazer-dominated fauna. Tool flaking proficiency was comparable to younger Oldowan assemblages, but pounding activities were more common. Tool use-wear and bone damage indicate plant and animal tissue processing. Paranthropus sp. teeth, the first from southwestern Kenya, possessed carbon isotopic values indicative of a diet rich in C4 foods. We argue that the earliest Oldowan was more widespread than previously known, used to process diverse foods including megafauna, and associated with Paranthropus from its onset.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science on Vol 279, Issue 6632 10 Feb 2023, DOI: 10.1126/science.abo7452
Uncontrolled Keywords: General Science & Technology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2023 09:27
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2024 17:08
DOI or ID number: 10.1126/science.abo7452
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18616
View Item View Item