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Adaptive Flexibility of Oldowan Hominins: Secondary Use of Flakes at Bizat Ruhama, Israel

Zaidner, Yossi Petraglia, Michael D. (editor)

PLoS ONE, 2013, Vol.8(6) [Periódico revisado por pares]

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  • Título:
    Adaptive Flexibility of Oldowan Hominins: Secondary Use of Flakes at Bizat Ruhama, Israel
  • Autor: Zaidner, Yossi
  • Petraglia, Michael D. (editor)
  • Assuntos: Research Article ; Engineering ; Social And Behavioral Sciences
  • É parte de: PLoS ONE, 2013, Vol.8(6)
  • Descrição: The lithic assemblage of the Early Pleistocene site of Bizat Ruhama, Israel demonstrates the earliest evidence for systematic secondary knapping of flakes. The site, dated to the Matuyama chron, is one of the earliest primary context Oldowan occurrences in Eurasia. According to the experimental replication of the stone-tool production sequence, the secondary knapping of flakes was a part of a multi-stage operational sequence targeted at the production of small (<2 cm) flakes. This sequence included four stages: acquisition of chert pebbles, production of flakes, deliberate selection of flakes of specific morphologies, and their secondary knapping by free-hand or bipolar methods. The results suggest that flakes with retouch-like scars that were produced during this sequence and which commonly are interpreted as shaped tools are unintentional waste products of the small flake production. The intentional manufacture of very small flakes at Bizat Ruhama was probably an economic response to the raw material constrains. Systematic secondary knapping of flakes has not yet been reported from other Early Pleistocene sites. Systematic secondary knapping for small flake production became increasingly important only in the lithic industries of the second half of the Middle Pleistocene, almost a million years later. The results from Bizat Ruhama indicate that Oldowan stone-tool production sequence was conceptually more complex than previously suggested and offer a new perspective on the capabilities for invention and the adaptive flexibility of the Oldowan hominins.

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