Expanded geographic distribution and dietary strategies of the earliest Oldowan hominins and .

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Plummer, Thomas W; Oliver, James S; Finestone, Emma M; Ditchfield, Peter W; Bishop, Laura C; Blumenthal, Scott A; Lemorini, Cristina; Caricola, Isabella; Bailey, Shara E; Herries, Andy I R; Parkinson, Jennifer A; Whitfield, Elizabeth; Hertel, Fritz; Kinyanjui, Rahab N; Vincent, Thomas H; Li, Youjuan; Louys, Julien; Frost, Stephen R; Braun, David R; Reeves, Jonathan S; Early, Emily D G; Onyango, Blasto; Lamela-Lopez, Raquel; Forrest, Frances L; He, Huaiyu; Lane, Timothy P; Frouin, Marine; Nomade, Sébastien; Wilson, Evan P; Bartilol, Simion K; Rotich, Nelson Kiprono; Potts, Richard
Year of Publication: 2023
Journal: Science
Volume: 379
Issue: 6632
Pagination: 561-566
Date Published: 2023 Feb 10
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1095-9203

The oldest Oldowan tool sites, from around 2.6 million years ago, have previously been confined to Ethiopia's Afar Triangle. We describe sites at Nyayanga, Kenya, dated to 3.032 to 2.581 million years ago and expand this distribution by over 1300 kilometers. Furthermore, we found two hippopotamid butchery sites associated with mosaic vegetation and a C grazer-dominated fauna. Tool flaking proficiency was comparable with that of younger Oldowan assemblages, but pounding activities were more common. Tool use-wear and bone damage indicate plant and animal tissue processing. sp. teeth, the first from southwestern Kenya, possessed carbon isotopic values indicative of a diet rich in C foods. We argue that the earliest Oldowan was more widespread than previously known, used to process diverse foods including megafauna, and associated with from its onset.

DOI: 10.1126/science.abo7452
Alternate Journal: Science
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