The ST Site Complex at Peninj, West Lake Natron, Tanzania: Implications for early hominid behavioural models

Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo, Ignacio De La Torre, Luis De Luque, Luis Alcalá, Rafael Mora, Jordi Serrallonga, Victoria Medina

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    73 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    An assemblage of 1.5 Ma Oldowan sites situated on a paleosol of Maritanane, Peninj (Tanzania) presents a new type of archaeological record characterized by abundant faunal remains associated to a small amount of stone tools over an extensive area. The widespread nature of the archaeological materials, together with different weathering stages of the fauna and articulated clusters of bones suggests that hominids redundantly visited the area to obtain and process animal carcasses. Bone surface analyses indicate that hominids had primary access to fully fleshed carcasses, and that carnivore activity was restricted to post-depositional ravaging. Given that a high degree of competition among carnivores seems to have existed in the paleohabitats near the location where the ST Site Complex was formed, as inferred by a landscape taphonomy study, passive scavenging does not seem to have been a feasible option available to hominids. Cut mark patterns suggest that hominids were actively involved in obtaining animal resources rather than visiting other carnivores' kills. The data presented would initially support behavioural interpretations such as those proposed by O'Connell (1997) suggesting that the ST site complex might have been the result of "near-kill locations" redundantly visited by hominids.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)639-665
    JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
    Volume29
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

    Keywords

    • Butchery
    • Cut marks
    • Early human evolution
    • Meat-processing
    • Oldowan
    • Paleosol

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