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New Oldowan locality Sare-Abururu (ca. 1.7 Ma) provides evidence of diverse hominin behaviors on the Homa Peninsula, Kenya

Finestone, EM, Plummer, TW, Vincent, TH, Blumenthal, SA, Ditchfield, PW, Bishop, L, Oliver, JS, Herries, AIR, Palfery, CV, Lane, TP, McGuire, E, Reeves, JS, Rodes, A, Whitfield, E, Braun, DR, Bartilol, SK, Kiprono, N, Parkinson, JA, Lemorini, C, Caricola, I , Kinjanjui, RN and Potts, R New Oldowan locality Sare-Abururu (ca. 1.7 Ma) provides evidence of diverse hominin behaviors on the Homa Peninsula, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution. ISSN 0047-2484 (Accepted)

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Abstract

The Homa Peninsula, in southwestern Kenya, continues to yield insights into Oldowan hominin landscape behaviors. The Late Pliocene locality of Nyayanga (~3–2.6 Ma) preserves some of the oldest Oldowan tools. At the Early Pleistocene locality of Kanjera South (~2 Ma) toolmakers procured a diversity of raw materials from over 10 km away and strategically reduced them in a grassland-dominated ecosystem. Here, we report findings from Sare-Abururu, a younger (~1.7 Ma) Oldowan locality approximately 12 km southeast of Kanjera South and 18 km east of Nyayanga. Sare-Abururu has yielded 1754 artifacts in relatively undisturbed low-energy silts and sands. Stable isotopic analysis of pedogenic carbonates suggests that hominin activities were carried out in a grassland-dominated setting with similar vegetation structure as documented at Kanjera South. The composition of a nearby paleo-conglomerate indicates that high-quality stone raw materials were locally abundant. Toolmakers at Sare-Abururu produced angular waste from quartz pebbles, representing a considerable contrast to the strategies used to reduce high quality raw materials at Kanjera South. Although lithic reduction at Sare-Abururu was technologically simple, toolmakers efficiently produced cutting edges, made few mistakes and exhibited a mastery of platform management, demonstrating that expedient technical strategies do not necessarily indicate a lack of skill or suitable raw materials. Lithic procurement and reduction patterns on the Homa Peninsula appear to reflect variation in local resource contexts rather than large-scale evolutionary changes in mobility, energy budget, or toolmaker cognition.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0603 Evolutionary Biology; 1601 Anthropology; 2101 Archaeology; Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Elsevier
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2024 10:03
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2024 10:03
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22490
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