Assessing functionality during the early Acheulean in level TKSF at Thiongo Korongo site (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania)



Downloads per month over past year

Panera, Joaquin and Rubio-Jara, Susana and Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel and Yravedra Sainz de los Terreros, José and Méndez-Quintas, Eduardo and Pérez-González, Alfredo and Bello-Alonso, Patricia and Moclán, Abel and Baquedano, Enrique and Santonja, Manuel (2019) Assessing functionality during the early Acheulean in level TKSF at Thiongo Korongo site (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania). Quaternary International, 526 . pp. 77-98. ISSN 1040-6182

[thumbnail of panera2019.pdf]
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


To understand the identity of the early Acheulean, it is necessary to discriminate between the variables that influenced the selection of technological strategies. Functionality of the archaeological sites is crucial in assessing the manufacturing strategies of lithic tools. To achieve this goal, analysis of the post-depositional processes must be evaluated. When bone remains have been preserved, anthropic animal processing can be identified through zooarchaeological and taphonomic analyses, and the spatial relationships among all the components can also be assessed, especially when bone surface is not sufficiently preserved.
There are two levels present at Thiongo Korongo, ~1.3 Ma, TKLF and TKSF. These are in autochthonous position with no significant temporal diachrony but with substantial technological differences in the manufacturing of the lithic tools, which enables the analysis of the influence of human activities on technological behaviour. In order to evaluate this issue at TKSF, we present lithic, faunal, taphonomic, fabric, and spatial analyses.
An assemblage of megaherbivores, among which Sivatherium is outstanding, dominate the TKSF faunal remains. Cortical preservation is poor; there is no intervention of carnivores, the rate of green fractures is low, and a few cut marks on size 5 and 3b animals were identified. Hence, apparently human intervention on the fauna was not intensive. Spatial and geostatistical analyses hints of a specific area where megaherbivores were processed by humans. Through wear use and biomarker analyses on stone tools, we are currently trying to understand the activities that were carried out in the remaining paleosurface.
At paleosurface TKLF, the main anthropogenic input could be related to activities other than animal resource exploitation, in which large handaxes were necessary. Without the assessment of site functionality and chronological context, this data could have lead to the differences observed at TKLF and TKSF being attributed to different Acheulean stages.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Humanities > History > Prehistory
ID Code:70372
Deposited On:14 Feb 2022 09:28
Last Modified:22 Feb 2022 10:25

Origin of downloads

Repository Staff Only: item control page