More data needed for claims about the earliest Oldowan artifacts

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Sahle, Yonatan; Gossa, Tegenu
Year of Publication: 2019
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume: 116
Issue: 41
Pagination: 20259
Date Published: 2019/10/08
Publication Language: eng

Recent claims about early tool making and use have proved controversial (1⇓⇓–4). In PNAS, Braun et al. (5) report Oldowan artifacts from Ledi-Geraru, Ethiopia. The claimed minimum age of 2.581 Ma for these artifacts would, even if accurate, imply a marginally older beginning for the Oldowan than the ∼2.58 Ma previously established ∼35 km to the west at Gona (6). While the Ledi-Geraru assemblage is a welcome addition to the limited number of early Oldowan occurrences, its bearing on our current understanding of the earliest tools and their makers (6, 7) is contingent on the accuracy of the inferred … ↵1To whom correspondence may be addressed. Email: yonatan.sahle{at}

Short Title: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
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