While the emergence of the Acheulean is well documented in East Africa at ~1.7 Ma, subsequent developments are less well understood and to some extent controversial. Here, we provide robust evidence regarding the time period between 1.6 Ma and 1.2 Ma, based on an interdisciplinary approach to the stratigraphic sequences exposed in the Gombore gully of Melka Kunture, in the upper Awash Valley of Ethiopia. Throughout the Pleistocene, the environment differed significantly from elsewhere in Africa because of the elevation at 2000 m asl, the cooler and rainy climate, the Afromontane vegetation, the development of endemic animal species, and the recurrent impact of volcanic activity. At Gombore IB, dated ~1.6 Ma, remains of Homo erectus/ergaster have been discovered, associated with a rich early Acheulean assemblage. The techno-typological analysis of the lithic record from Gombore Iγ (~1.4 Ma) and Gombore Iδ (~1.3 Ma), where substantial areas have been excavated, and the contrasting evidence from Gombore OAM Test Pit C (~1.2 Ma), suggest that the scarcity or lack of large flakes and large cutting tools at the two earlier sites is possibly not just the outcome of sampling bias, but rather of the adaptation of H. erectus/ergaster to the local resources, in a relatively isolated environment. The sites of Gombore gully provide new evidence on the complex pattern of human evolution and adaptation in East Africa during the Lower Pleistocene.

After the emergence of the Acheulean at Melka Kunture (Upper Awash, Ethiopia): From Gombore IB (1.6 Ma) to Gombore Iγ (1.4 Ma), Gombore Iδ (1.3 Ma) and Gombore II OAM Test Pit C (1.2 Ma)

Margherita Mussi
Primo
;
Rita T. Melis;Laura Pioli;
In corso di stampa

Abstract

While the emergence of the Acheulean is well documented in East Africa at ~1.7 Ma, subsequent developments are less well understood and to some extent controversial. Here, we provide robust evidence regarding the time period between 1.6 Ma and 1.2 Ma, based on an interdisciplinary approach to the stratigraphic sequences exposed in the Gombore gully of Melka Kunture, in the upper Awash Valley of Ethiopia. Throughout the Pleistocene, the environment differed significantly from elsewhere in Africa because of the elevation at 2000 m asl, the cooler and rainy climate, the Afromontane vegetation, the development of endemic animal species, and the recurrent impact of volcanic activity. At Gombore IB, dated ~1.6 Ma, remains of Homo erectus/ergaster have been discovered, associated with a rich early Acheulean assemblage. The techno-typological analysis of the lithic record from Gombore Iγ (~1.4 Ma) and Gombore Iδ (~1.3 Ma), where substantial areas have been excavated, and the contrasting evidence from Gombore OAM Test Pit C (~1.2 Ma), suggest that the scarcity or lack of large flakes and large cutting tools at the two earlier sites is possibly not just the outcome of sampling bias, but rather of the adaptation of H. erectus/ergaster to the local resources, in a relatively isolated environment. The sites of Gombore gully provide new evidence on the complex pattern of human evolution and adaptation in East Africa during the Lower Pleistocene.
Melka KuntureLower PleistoceneAcheuleanVolcanismHomo erectus/Ergaster adaptation
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/310053
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact