Chapter 12 Oldowan Toolmakers and the Origin of Human Life History

Chapter 12 Oldowan Toolmakers and the Origin of Human Life History

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Chapter 12: Oldowan Toolmakers and the Origin of Human Life History The Oldowan Toolmakers - The earliest identifiable stone tools are from about 2.5 mya o They were found in the Awash region of Ethiopia o The oldest were found in Ethiopia, then East Africa, then in South Africa - The earliest tools made from bone appear in the fossil record between 2 and 1 million years ago at Olduvai Gorge and in South Africa o These artifacts were found in West Turkana and includes flakes, cores, hammer stones, and debris from manufacturing o These artifacts are collectively referred to as the Oldowan tool industry o They were made out of varying raw materials - The Oldowan tool industry is an example of Mode I technology o According to this scheme, crude flaked pebble tools like those associated with the Oldowan tool industry are classified as Mode I - We do not know which hominin species were responsible for making the tools o Australopithecus garhi is most likely the “first engineer” Animal bones were found with the marks of tools that are found in the same strata as the fossils of A. garhi However, there were no tools found with the fossils, but there were many found nearby o However, A. rudolfensis , Kenyanthropus platyops , and Paranthropus aethiopicus were living at the same time and they could have made the tools found nearby but left no fossils of their bones o It is also possible that the stone tools were created by a species that did not appear until later in the fossil record because stone lasts longer than bones So, the first toolmakers might have been Australopithecus habilis , Paranthropus boisei , or even Homo ergaster - Because it is likely that the Oldowan toolmakers were human ancestors, we can learn a lot about the processes that shaped human evolution by studying Oldowan archaeological sites o By combining knowledge of contemporary foraging peoples with careful study of Oldowan tools, the sites where these tools were found, and the marks that they make on animal bones, we can learn a lot about the transition from a bipedal ape to a creature more like modern humans Complex Foraging Shapes Human Life History - Anthropologists divide the foods acquired by foragers into three types according to the amount of knowledge and skill required to obtain them. These are, in order of increasing
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Chapter 12 Oldowan Toolmakers and the Origin of Human Life History

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