164 pages, 47 b/w illustrations
An understanding of the uniquely human behavior of stone tool making tackles questions about hominins' ability to culturally transmit and expand their base of social and practical knowledge and their cognitive capacities for advanced planning. The appearance of stone tools has often been viewed as a threshold event, impacting directly and profoundly the later course of cultural and social evolution. Alternatively, it has been understood as a prelude to significant succeeding changes in behavioral, social and biological evolution of hominins. This book presents a series of recent enquiries into the technological and adaptive significance of Oldowan stone tools. While anchored in a long research tradition, these studies rely on recent discoveries and innovative analyses of the archaeological record of ca. 2.6-1.0 million years ago in Africa and Eurasia, dealing with the earliest lithic industries as manifestations of hominin adaptations and as expressions of hominin cognitive abilities.
1. Introduction: Current issues in Oldowan research. David R. Braun and Erella Hovers
2. Remarks on the current theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of technological strategies of early humans in Eastern Africa. Ignacio de la Torre and Rafael Mora
3. From homogeneity to multiplicity: A new approach to the study of archaic stone tools. Eudald Carbonell, Robert Sala, Deborah Barsky, and Vincenzo Celibreti
4. An overview of some African and Eurasian Oldowan sites: Evaluation of hominin cognitive levels, technological advancement and adaptive skills. Deborah Barsky
5. Early Homo occupation near the "Gate of Tears": Examining the paleoanthropological records of Djibouti and Yemen. Parth R. Chauhan
6. Homo floresiensis and the African Oldowan. Mark W. Moore and Adam R. Brumm
7. Methodological issues in the study of Oldowan raw material selectivity: Insights from A. L. 894 (Hadar, Ethiopia). Talia Goldman and Erella Hovers
8. Variability in raw material selectivity at the late Pliocene sites of Lokalalei, West Turkana, Kenya. Sonia Harmand
9. Oldowan technology and raw material variability at Kanjera South. David R. Braun, Thomas W. Plummer, Peter W. Ditchfield, Laura C. Bishop, and Joseph V.Ferraro
10. Obsidian exploitation and utilization during the Oldowan at Melka Kunture (Ethiopia). Marcello Piperno, Carmine Collina, Rosalia Galloti, Jean-Paul Raynal, Guy Kieffer, Fran#ois-Xavier le Bourdonnec, Gerard Poupeau, and Denis Geraads
11. Are all Oldowan sites palimpsests? And if so, what can they tell us about hominin carnivory? Manuel Dominguez-Rodrigo
12. The environmental context of Oldowan hominin activities at Kanjera South, Kenya. Thomas W. Plummer, Laura C. Bishop, Peter W. Ditchfield, Joseph V. Ferraro, John D. Kingston, Fritz Hertel, and David R. Braun
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Erella Hovers focuses on Oldowan and Middle Stone Age archaeology in Africa and on the Middle Paleolithic of the Levant. She is the co-editor (with Steve Kuhn) of "Transitions Before the Tansition" (Springer 2006) and the author of "The Organization of Mousterian Lithic Technology in Qafzeh Cave, Israel" (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2009). She is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jersualem.
David R. Braun's research is centered on the relationship between around the earliest stone artifact behavior and the ecology of our earliest ancestors. His research is conducted in Kenya, South Africa and China. He is a lecturer in the department of archaeology in the University of Cape Town.