337 pages, diagrams, illus
The Olduvai Bed I archaeological sites, dating back to almost 2 million years, have been at the epicenter of the debate on how early humans were. The present book presents a new analytical approach which, after having been applied to these sites, produced unexpected results: the association of stone tools and faunal remains at most Olduvai Bed I sites is accidental and not related to hominid behavior. Only at one site, FLK Zinj, is this association intentional. Through careful taphonomic analysis of this site coupled with detailed experimental work, it can be possible to out-rule the hypothesis that hominids were passive scavengers. Hominids were targeting meat in the exploitation of animals, which they probably obtained through some degree of predation, and their behavior seems to have been more advanced than previously thought.
From the reviews: "The book is divided into 16 chapters. ! The monograph is data-rich, with abundant tables for each studied strata listing species and skeletal part representation, as well as graphical summaries of the locations of each individual surface modification (whether by hominin or carnivore) on bovid long bones. ! Deconstructing Olduvai is an important paleoanthropological contribution ! ." Christian A. Tryon, Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 2008. "This volume provides a fresh look at an old issue -- i.e. that hominins were primary agents in the formation of these sites -- and suggests that site formation is heterogeneous and complicated during Bed I times at Olduvai Gorge." Journal of Human Evolution, 31 August 2009
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