FLK West (Lower Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania): a new early Acheulean site with evidence for human exploitation of fauna

Research paper by José Yravedra, Fernando Diez‐Martín, Charles P. Egeland, Miguel Ángel Maté‐González, Juan Francisco Palomeque‐González, Mari Carmen Arriaza, Julia Aramendi, Elena García Vargas, Verónica Estaca‐Gómez, Policarpo Sánchez, Cristina Fraile, Javier Duque, Sara de Francisco Rodríguez, Diego González‐Aguilera, David Uribelarrea, et al.

Indexed on: 07 Apr '17Published on: 04 Apr '17Published in: Boreas


This paper presents a detailed taphonomic study of the faunal assemblage from FLK West (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania), a site with an Acheulean component that dates to 1.7 Ma. The faunal sample analysed here is distributed in different archaeological levels and is associated with a significant lithic accumulation including several large format tools and handaxes. The fauna indicates the proliferation of open environments similar to those found in other Bed II and late Bed I sites. Evidence of anthropogenic activity (e.g. defleshing activities and marrow consumption) has been identified in the form of cut and percussion marks. A photogrammetric and morphometric analysis suggests that these marks were produced with quartzite flakes and not with handaxes. Evidence of interaction with carnivores was also noted; tooth marks were observed on some bones. Such interaction indicates the existence of competition between humans and carnivores for the same ecological niche, and might lead us to reflect on the survival strategies of Lower Pleistocene hominins.