Archaeology and ichnology at Gombore II-2, Melka Kunture, Ethiopia: everyday life of a mixed-age hominin group 700,000 years ago
We report the occurrence at 0.7 million years (Ma) of an ichnological assemblage at Gombore II-2, which is one of several archaeological sites at Melka Kunture in the upper Awash Valley of Ethiopia, 2000 m asl. Adults and children potentially as young as 12 months old left tracks in a silty substrate on the shore of a body of water where ungulates, as well as other mammals and birds, congregated. Furthermore, the same layers contain a rich archaeological and palaeontological record, confirming that knapping was taking place in situ and that stone tools were used for butchering hippo carcasses at the site. The site gives direct information on hominin landscape use at 0.7 Ma and may provide fresh perspective on the childhood of our ancestors.