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Cut marks and raw material exploitation in the lower pleistocene site of Bell's Korongo (BK, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania): A geometric morphometric analysis

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Courtenay, Lloyd A. and Yravedra Sainz de los Terreros, José and Aramendi, Julia and Maté-González, Miguel Ángel and Martín Perea, David Manuel and Uribelarrea del Val, David and Baquedano, Enrique and González Aguilera, Diego and Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel (2019) Cut marks and raw material exploitation in the lower pleistocene site of Bell's Korongo (BK, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania): A geometric morphometric analysis. Quaternary International, 526 . pp. 155-168. ISSN 1040-6182

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618219303192#!



Abstract

The Lower Pleistocene site of Bell's Korongo (BK) in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) has been a key site for the study of the origin of human behaviour. The lower archaeological levels of BK are characterized by anthropogenic activity related to the exploitation of megafauna (elephant, hippopotamus, Sivatherium) and smaller game (zebra, wildebeest and antelopes). These remains display a high frequency of cut marks. The exceptional state of preservation of the BK fossil assemblage has allowed a wide range of different analyses that, among other things, detected the use of quartzite in butchering activities through the study of cut marks. Following up previous analyses, this paper presents the study of a series of cut marks from the BK faunal assemblage using a 3D geometric morphometric methodological approach in order to determine the mineralogical properties of the quartzite used at the site. BK cut marks are compared with experimentally produced cut marks using 9 mineralogically different quartzite types from Olduvai Gorge. This comparative analysis provides valuable hints about the exact nature of the raw materials used in butchering activities. The results presented here identify a preferential use of quartzite with a finer granular composition, suggesting that hominin populations were already selecting the best raw materials for their use in specific activities 1.3 Mya.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Olduvai gorge, Cut mark morphology, Taphonomy, Experimental archaeology, Quartzite, Homo erectus
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
Humanities > History > Archaeology
ID Code:60930
Deposited On:15 Jun 2020 11:01
Last Modified:15 Jun 2020 11:01

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