Single-carcass sites of Lower and Middle Pleistocene age have attracted much attention since they were first recorded. They have been the focus both of science and of museum displays, with reconstructions of “hominins-feasting-on-a-carcass” purposefully illustrating a major step in human evolution. Here we report the Acheulean site Gombore II-2 in the upper Awash Valley of Ethiopia, dating to 0.7 Myr. In the 1970s, due to the presence of hippo remains, the site was published as a single-carcass butchering site. New excavations revealed an ichnosurface displaying animal and human footprints associated with bones and lithics. Subsequent studies of lithic and faunal remains of recent and past excavations as well as archive studies show that Gombore II-2 represents one of the earliest sites with hominin-hippo interaction. The hippo remains belong to a minimum of three carcasses, at least one of them butchered by hominins and subsequently ravaged by hyenas. However, instead of single carcasses exploited on the spot, evidence suggests the existence of a living floor where butchering episodes were performed through time, possibly transporting portions from scavenging sites at a distance. Gombore II-2 thus provides unique insight into planning capacities and control over the environment probably by early representatives of Homo heidelbergensis.
|Titolo:||Reassessing Hominin Skills at an Early Middle Pleistocene Hippo Butchery Site: Gombore II-2 (Melka Kunture, Upper Awash valley, Ethiopia)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Tipologia:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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