Applying a technological reduction analysis to the Sterkfontein Caves Acheulean (South Africa), and implications for ESA Variability

Rosa Moll1, Kathleen Kuman1, Dominic Stratford1, Ignacio de la Torre2

  1. School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa;;
  2. Institute of Archaeology, University College London, London, UK


One of the most well-known archaeological and palaeoanthropological sites in South Africa is the Sterkfontein Caves. The site currently has the oldest published Oldowan in the country dating to 2.18 Mya, and an Early Acheulean assemblage with a relative age of 1.6 Mya. New material from the Acheulean deposit has been found that has not yet been analysed. This talk will focus on recounting the research already conducted on Sterkfontein lithic assemblages and explore the context for future study. Further research will focus on the reanalysis using an in depth technological reduction strategy methodology and incorporation of new material. The focus of the work would be to identify technological patterns, and to discuss these along with the work on site formation, faunal analysis, and palaeoanthropological remains. When all the data is combined, one could provide nuanced interpretations of the behaviours demonstrated by hominids on the landscape. The results of the research could be compared to other well-defined assemblages and deposits in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa and Eastern Africa. This analysis will form part of a study aiming to develop detailed comparative data sets between Sterkfontein and other ESA sites across Africa to better understand the regional variation in the emergence of the Early Acheulean, and to investigate the inter site variability of Earlier Stone Age technology and behaviour.

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 Acheulean; Core reduction; Sterkfontein; African ESA;
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