The Cutting Edge: New Approaches to the Archaeology of Human Origins

This book focuses on innovative new approaches to the archaeological evidence for protohuman behavior found in the Early Stone Age, based on a recent international conference held at the Stone Age Institute. Major researchers in the field present important new findings from a range of well-preserved archaeological sites and critical experimental archaeological investigations. Topics include: early stone artifact assemblage variability at Gona, Ethiopia and at Koobi Fora, Kenya; early human presence in North Africa; technological strategies and patterns at Peninj, Tanzania; the Oldowan industries from Sterkfontein Cave, South Africa; flaking accidents and knapping skills at Hadar, Ethiopia; hominin transport of stone at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania; a critical examination of the early occupation of India; new methods for quantifying stone tool cutting efficiency in the Oldowan and Acheulean; evidence for early occupation Eurasia, with particular attention to early sites in Spain, as well as early hominin presence in China in the Nihewan Basin; a comparative experimental study of Oldowan artifacts made by novices and by expert toolmakers; and experimental zooarchaeology with regard to the anatomical patterning of butchery marks.