The use of bone surface modifications to model hominid lifeways during the Oldowan

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Charles P. Egeland, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Ever since the ground-breaking taphonomic work of Bunn (1981) and Potts (Potts and Shipman, 1981) documented cut marks on bones from early Pleistocene deposits at Olduvai Gorge and Koobi Fora, bone surface modifications have played an increasingly prominent role in understanding the formation of Oldowan faunal assemblages. The analysis of surface modifications, which include most prominently hominid butchery (cut marks, percussion marks) and carnivore (tooth marks) damage, can address many important issues in Oldowan archaeology, including (1) Which carcass resources did Oldowan hominids exploit? (2) How often did they obtain carcasses? (3) When they did acquire carcasses, did hominids have their choice of resources, or was the menu limited to what was available after other carnivores had had their fill? (4) What was the nature of the interaction between hominids, as a relatively new member of the large carnivore guild, and Plio-Pleistocene carnivores? These questions, and thus the analysis of bone surface modifications, must be integrated into any model that seeks to shed light on the socioeconomic function of Oldowan sites.

Additional Information

(M. Domínguez-Rodrigo, Ed) Stone Tools and Fossil Bones: Debates in the Archaeology of Human Origins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 80-114.
Language: English
Date: 2012
Oldowan, hominids, Plio-Pleistocene, taphonomy, bone surface modifications

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