Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Evidence For Human Behavior Pushed Back

Science Daily is running a story on some research done at Kanjera, in Kenya.  According to the story:
The fossil evidence for hominin hunting is particularly compelling. The record shows that Oldowan hominins acquired and butchered numerous small antelope carcasses. These animals are well represented at the site by most or all of their bones from the tops of their head to the tips of their hooves, indicating to researchers that they were transported to the site as whole carcasses.

Many of the bones also show evidence of cut marks made when hominins used simple stone tools to remove animal flesh. Some bones also bear evidence that hominins used fist-sized stones to break them open to acquire bone marrow.

In addition, modern studies in the Serengeti--an environment similar to KJS two million years ago--have also shown that predators completely devour antelopes of this size within minutes of their deaths. As a result, hominins could only have acquired these valuable remains on the savanna through active hunting.
The site layers are around 2 million years old.  This pushes evidence for this back into the very earliest time period of early Homo, when you had two forms running around the landscape but some two to three hundred thousand years before you had Homo erectus.

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