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Stone Tool Origins


We are working on aspects related to the origins of stone tool technology in our lineage.  To this end, we are participating in fieldwork in east Africa with a focus on deposits older than 2.6 Ma.  Second, we are collaborating with Lydia Luncz who leads the Lise Meitner Technological Primates research group to better understand stone tool technologies in non-human primates and to gain new insights into the range of technological possibilities and their archaeological traces.  With this we are then (re)examining the early hominin stone tool record to see how it might compare.  Third, we are looking for insights into the technical knowledge of early hominins through controlled experimentation in flake production.  These experiments involve fracturing glass cores with a mechanical apparatus, and they provided data on how various knapping variables impact flake outcomes.  With these data we strive to better understand what the earliest knappers knew about how to make stone tools.