P314 Earlier Prehistory of Africa

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Week 5: Older than Olduvai! the oldest archaeological evidence in Africa

Map of East African early hominid sites

This week we're going to explore the evidence for the oldest sites in Eastern and Southern Africa.

On Tuesday you'll use a tool called TimeWeb to investigate:

If you have time today, investigate the question:


Connect to Prehistoric Puzzles


So-- who made the artifacts found at these early sites in East Africa (or south Africa)? Clearly several hominids were alive at the time, sharing the landscape (e.g. A. garhi, the robust australopithecines (A.aethiopicus first appeared in Member C at Omo and evolved into A. boisei in East Africa) and early Homo (whether you think there were one or two species of early Homo (e.g. just Homo habilis, or Homo habilis (small) and Homo rudolfensis (big))... the earliest evidence of Homo is about 2.4-2.5 million years old, from sites in the Baringo basin, Kenya, in Malawi, and in the Hadar region).

Key Issues= Who had the ability to make stone tools (manual dexterity, intelligence) and who would have needed them (for dietary, or other needs)?

Stone tools:

To learn more about stone tool making, typology, and analysis, in addition to the Prehistoric Puzzles lithic module (under construction, but useful) I recommend that you look at some of the following web sites:

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Human Origins in Africa | African Resources | Archaeology Links |
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Last updated: 25 September, 2000
URL: http://www.indiana.edu/~origins/teach/p314/xxx.html
Comments: sept@indiana.edu
Copyright Jeanne Sept 2000 : do not cite without permission

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