Technological strategies and the economy of raw materials in the TK (Thiongo Korongo) lower occupation, Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania


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Santonja, Manuel and Panera, Joaquin and Rubio Jara, Susana and Pérez González, Alfredo and Uribelarrea del Val, David and Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel and Mabulla, Audax Z.P. and Bunn, Henry T. and Baquedano, Enrique (2014) Technological strategies and the economy of raw materials in the TK (Thiongo Korongo) lower occupation, Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Quaternary International, 322-3 . pp. 181-208. ISSN 1040-6182

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At TK, 113 m2 were excavated in 2010–2012 in the two areas immediately adjacent to the trenches dug by M. Leakey in 1963. Extensive lithic and faunal assemblages were retrieved from several levels of the archaeological site. TK is located at the exposed top of Olduvai's Bed II, recently dated to 1.353 ± 0.035 Ma. From a geo-archaeological perspective, the stratigraphic studies have provided a redefinition of the processes involved in the site's formation.

This paper offers a geological interpretation that revises and amends previous ones. The new interpretation focuses particularly on the technological and paleoeconomic study of a new lithic assemblage recovered from the lower occupation level (TKLF). This assemblage comprises 5805 objects in total, including 3812 items of shatter. We analyse here the chaînes opératoires represented in this level, as well as the processes implied by the raw materials, management, maintenance and abandonment of the lithic assemblage.

The character of the site, as well as the activities carried out in it, have been greatly influenced by the proximity of the sources of the raw material primarily used, which could have been extracted from an inselberg of a particular type of quartzite located within a few hundred meters of the site. Two different chaînes opératoires can be identified in TKLF: one based on obtaining flakes from varied blanks, particularly volcanic rocks and the distinctive quartzite, and the second on the manufacture of large and highly standardized bifaces that were produced, used and abandoned in the site.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:63990
Deposited On:18 Feb 2021 08:12
Last Modified:18 Feb 2021 17:34

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