HOT (Human Origins Today) Topic - Tools, hippos, and early humans at the dawn of technology [ONLINE]
While some species of non-human primates produce technologies that assist in foraging, humans are uniquely dependent on technology for survival. How far back in time does this technological dependency go? The oldest geographically widespread and long-lasting technology is the Oldowan stone tool industry, first appearing more than 2.6 million years ago in eastern Africa. In this presentation, Tom Plummer, a biological anthropologist at Queens College, CUNY, presented recent research from 3.0 – 2.6 million year old archaeological sites at Nyayanga, Kenya showing that early stone tool users processed a variety of plant and animal foods there, including animals as large as hippos. The simple pounding and cutting technology enhanced these tool users’ adaptability by allowing them to extract foods that would have otherwise been inaccessible.
Moderator: Briana Pobiner, paleoanthropologist and educator at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
This Zoom webinar with Tom Plummer aired live on April 13, 2023 as part of the ongoing "HOT (Human Origins Today) Topic" series.