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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52780
Doc. No:TL22734
Call number:‭3350133‬
Main Entry:Jack Thomas McCoy
Title & Author:Ecological and behavioral implications of new archaeological occurrences from Upper Burgi exposures at Koobi Fora, KenyaJack Thomas McCoy
College:Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:322
Abstract:The appearance of the genus Homo is a landmark event in human evolution. While extensive research has been conducted regarding the physical evolution of this genus, there has been little research into evolving behaviors that may have differentiated Homo from the earlier hominins. Australopithecines were present in East Africa from about 4.4 million years ago to perhaps 0.7 million years ago, but there is presently no evidence of tool use (stone tools or modified bone) prior to 2.5 million years ago. The introduction of significant amounts of meat into the diet coupled with the use of stone tools near the end of the Pliocene may represent early behaviors that define the genus Homo. The exposed sediments of the Upper Burgi Member at Koobi Fora provide a unique opportunity to study the factors that drove the onset of this behavior. Koobi Fora has yielded a continuous paleontological record of hominin evolution that extends back over 4 million years, including early Homo fossil skulls KNM-ER-1470 and KNM-ER-1813. However, there has been no systematic archaeological research conducted in the time interval prior to 1.9 million years ago when the Upper Burgi Member sediments were deposited. This research addresses that void through a systematic ecological, geological, and archaeological study of specific Upper Burgi exposures. Surface survey and excavation produced fossil flora and fauna from these ancient sediments enabling detailed reconstruction of animal communities and hominin habitat. Fossil bones of animals exploited for food preserve unequivocal evidence of hominin modification during butchery and these modified bones are the archaeological traces that this research utilized to identify hominin presence on the landscape and associated habitat utilization. This study focuses on evolving behavior defined by these new archaeological traces to make meaningful inferences about changing diet and foraging strategies at geographically widespread locations across the ancient Upper Burgi landscape. Utilizing the data developed in this research together with published data from other late Pliocene sites in Kenya and Ethiopia, a model of this unique behavior is hypothesized for this specific region of East Africa.
Subject:Social sciences; Upper Burgi; Koobi Fora; Kenya; Archaeology; 0324:Archaeology
Added Entry:J. W. K. Harris
Added Entry:Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick