Palaeoenvironment, palaeo-lake history, raw material procurement and transport, and stone artifact assemblage composition at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

Nicholas Toth1,2, Kathy Schick1,2, Ian Stanistreet3,1, Jackson Njau4,1

  1. Stone Age Institute, 1392 W Dittemore Road, Gosport, Indiana, USA;
  2. Cognitive Science Program, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA;
  3. Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool, UK
  4. Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA;


The Stone Age Institute’s Olduvai Gorge Coring Project (OGCP) has radically revised our understanding of the nature and history of the prehistoric Olduvai Palaeo-Lake Basin. High-resolution geological cores from three different drilling localities have yielded important new evidence pertaining to lake morphology, palaeoclimate, and palaeoenvironment. Higher and lower lake levels and volcanic events had a profound effect on access to different raw material sources for Early Stone Age hominins in Beds I, II, III, IV, Masek Beds, Ndutu Beds, and Naisiusiu Beds (ca. 2.0 Ma to recent times). These different raw material sources, in turn, had a profound effect on the nature of the stone artifact assemblages at Olduvai during the hominin evolutionary trajectory from Homo habilis to Homo erectus to Homo heidelbergensis. Experimental archaeological research in making and using Oldowan and Acheulean stone tools had added addition insights into these prehistoric archaeological occurrences.

Type Communication
Langue du texte intégral English
Thématiques AFR.001: Recent Advances in Early Stone Age Studies in Africa, New Insights on the Oldowan and the Acheulian Stone Technology
Mots-Clés Olduvai Gorge; Oldowan; Acheulean; lithic raw materials; palaeoenvironment;
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