Lithic Production Strategies in the Oldowan Assemblages from Sterkfontein Member 5 and Swartkrans Member 1, Gauteng Province, South Africa

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10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sterkfontein Member 5 East (Oldowan Infill) and Swartkrans Member 1 (Lower Bank) represent the largest concentrations of Oldowan artefacts in southern Africa, and yet they vary significantly in terms of raw material use and typological frequencies. While previous research has described these differences in detail, questions remain as to the cause and implications of this variability. To increase resolution on this matter, this study implements quantitative methods to investigate lithic production strategies at these sites. Results expand upon previous findings concerning differences in raw material use and knapping methods and how these patterns relate to core reduction and flake production. Explanations for these patterns focus on a dichotomy between efficiency and expediency in lithic production, which differ from previous interpretations. As such, variability between these assemblages may relate more to mobility patterns in early hominins within this region and immediate needs for tool use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of African Archaeology
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Oldowan
  • archaeology
  • core reduction
  • flake production
  • lithic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archeology (arts and humanities)
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Archeology

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