Advertisement

African Archaeological Review

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 3–42 | Cite as

Kariandusi: Acheulean morphology and the question of allometry

  • J. A. J. Gowlett
  • R. H. Crompton
Article

Abstract

Allometry, or size-related variation, is shown to be an important factor in the bifaces of two separate assemblages from the Acheulean site of Kariandusi in Kenya. Such variation has functional and possibly stylistic implications. The paper gives a review of the archaeology of Kariandusi, and then investigates the question of size and shape variation in bifaces. The Upper Sites at Kariandusi, first investigated by L. S. B. Leakey, have yielded many obsidian bifaces which can be dated to approximately 0.7–1.0 myr ago. Material from the Lower Site, including many lava bifaces, is judged to be stratigraphically younger but probably in the same time range. We show by making comparisons with the neighbouring Acheulean sites of Kilombe and the Kapthurin Formation that allometry is present in biface assemblages at least 0.5 myr different in date; that similar principles of allometry operate in all the assemblages; and that where there are differences of allometric pattern, within-site variation is sometimes greater than variation between distant sites. We conclude that the size of a biface at least partly determines the shape in which it was made, and that sites in the time range ofHomo erectus and earlyHomo sapiens show surprisingly similar allometric patterns.

Keywords

Time Range Cultural Study Distant Site Shape Variation Similar Principle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Résumé

Il est démontré que l'allométrie ou variation dimensionnelle, est un facteur important des bifaces de deux collections séparées du site acheuléen de Kariandusi au Kénya. Une telle variation a des implications fonctionnelles et peut-être aussi stylistiques. Cet article examine l'archéologie de Kariandusi, puis étudie la question des variations de dimensions et de formes dans les bifaces. Les sites plus élevés de Kariandusi, que L.S.B. Leakey a été le premier à fouiller, ont donné de nombreux bifaces d'obsidienne que l'on peut dater d'environ 0,7–1,0 million d'années. Le matériel obtenu dans le site inférieur, y compris de nombreux bifaces en lave, est jugé plus récent stratigraphiquement, mais probablement de la même période. En faisant des comparaisons avec les sites acheuléens voisins de Kilombe et de la Formation Kapthurine, nous démontrons que l'allométrie est présente dans des collections de bifaces dont les dates diffèrent d'au moins 0,5 million d'années; que des principes d'allométrie similaires s'appliquent à toutes les collections; et que lorsqu'il y a des différences de schéma allométrique, la variation au sein d'un même site est souvent plus importante que la variation entre des sites distants. Nous concluons que la dimension d'un biface détermine au moins partiellement sa forme, et que les sites de la période de l'Homo erectus et du début de la période de l'Homo sapiens présentent des schémas allométriques étonamment semblables.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Asfaw, B., Beyene, Y., Suwa, G., Walter, R. C., White, T. D., Woldegabriel, G. and Yemane, T. 1992. The earliest Acheulean at Konso-Gardula.Nature 360:732–5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnard, G. C. 1950. Diatomite and its production in Kenya Colony.Mining Magazine 82:271–4.Google Scholar
  3. Bilsborough, A. 1992.Human evolution. London: Blackie.Google Scholar
  4. Bilsborough, A. and Wood, B. A. 1986. The nature, origin and fate of Homo erectus. InMajor Topics in Primate and Human Evolution (eds B. A. Wood, L. Martin and P. Andrews): pp. 295–316. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bishop, W. W. 1971. The late Cenozoic history of east Africa in relation to hominoid evolution. InLate Cenozoic Glacial Ages (ed. K. K. Turekian): pp. 493–527. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bishop, W. W. 1978. Geological framework of the Kilombe Acheulian site, Kenya. InGeological Background to Fossil Man (ed. W. W. Bishop): pp. 329–36. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.Google Scholar
  7. Butzer, K. W., Isaac, G. Ll., Richardson, J. L. and Washbourn-Kamau, C. 1972. Radiocarbon dating of East African lake levels.Science 175:1069–76.Google Scholar
  8. Bye, B. A., Brown, F. H., Cerling, T. E. and McDougall, I. 1987. Increased age estimate for the Lower Palaeolithic hominid site at Olorgesailie, Kenya.Nature 329:237–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cahen, D. 1975.Le site archeologique de La Kamoa (Région du Shaba, République du Zaire) de l'âge de la pierre ancien à l'âge du fer. Tervuren: Musée royal de l'Afrique Centrale (Annales in 8∘, Science Humaines, 84).Google Scholar
  10. Chavaillon, J. 1967 La préhistoire éthiopienne à Melka-Kontouré.Archéologia Nov–Dec.: 56–63.Google Scholar
  11. Chavaillon, J. 1976. Les habitats acheuléens de Melka-Kontouré.P.A.C. 7:57–61.Google Scholar
  12. Clark, J. D. 1967. The Middle Acheulian occupation site at Latamne, northern Syria (first paper).Quatemaria 9:1–68.Google Scholar
  13. Clark, J. D. 1968. Further excavations (1965) at the Middle Acheulian occupation site at Latamne, northern Syria: general results, definitions and interpretations.Quaternaria 10:1–71.Google Scholar
  14. Clark, J. D. 1971. Human behavioral differences in southern Africa during the Later Pleistocene.American Anthropologist 73:1211–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Clark, J. D. 1980. The Plio-Pleistocene environmental and cultural sequence at Gadeb, northern Bale, Ethiopia.P.A.C. 7:189–93.Google Scholar
  16. Clark, J. D. 1991. Stone artifact assemblages from Swartkrans, Transvaal, South Africa. InCultural Beginnings: approaches to understanding early hominid lifeways in the African savannah (ed. J. D. Clark): pp. 137–58. Mainz: Romisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum.Google Scholar
  17. Cole, S. M. 1954.The Prehistory of East Africa. Harmondsworth: Pelican Books.Google Scholar
  18. Cornelissen, E., Boven, A., Dabi, A., Hus, J., Ju Yong, K., Keppens, E., Langohr, R., Moeyersons, J., Pasteels, P., Pieters, N., Uytterschaut, H., Van Noten, F. and Workineh, H. 1990. The Kapthurin Formation revisited.A.A.R. 8:23–75.Google Scholar
  19. Crompton, R. H. and Gowlett, J. A. J. 1993. Allometry and multidimensional form in Acheulean bifaces from Kilombe, Kenya.J.H.E. 25:175–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dagley, P., Mussett, A. E. and Palmer, H. C. 1978. Preliminary observations on the palaeomagnetic stratigraphy of the area west of Lake Baringo, Kenya. InGeological background to Fossil Man (ed. W. W. Bishop): pp. 225–35. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.Google Scholar
  21. Evernden, J. F. and Curtis, G. H. 1965. Potassium-argon dating of late Cenozoic rocks in East Africa and Italy.C.A. 6:343–85.Google Scholar
  22. Goren-Inbar, N., Belitzky, S., Goren, Y., Rabinovich, R. and Saragusti, I. 1992. Gesher Benot Ya-aqov — the ‘Bar’: an Acheulian assemblage.Geoarchaeology 7, 1:27–40.Google Scholar
  23. Gowlett, J. A. J. 1978. Kilombe — an Acheulian site complex in Kenya. InGeological Background to Fossil Man (ed. W. W. Bishop): pp. 337–60. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.Google Scholar
  24. Gowlett, J. A. J. 1979.A contribution to studies of the Acheulean in East Africa with especial reference to Kilombe and Kariandusi. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  25. Gowlett, J. A. J. 1980. Acheulean sites in the central Rift Valley, Kenya.P.A.C. 8:213–7.Google Scholar
  26. Gowlett, J. A. J. 1982. Procedure and form in a Lower Palaeolithic industry: stoneworking at Kilombe, Kenya.Studia Praehistorica Belgica 2:101–9.Google Scholar
  27. Gowlett, J. A. J. 1984. Mental abilities of early man — a look at some hard evidence. InHominid Evolution and Community Ecology (ed. R. Foley): pp. 167–92. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  28. Gowlett, J. A. J. 1986. Culture and conceptualisation: the Oldowan-Acheulian gradient. In Bailey, G. N. and Callow, P. (eds)Stone Age Prehistory: studies in memory of Charles McBurney, 243–60. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Gowlett, J. A. J. 1988. A case of Developed Oldowan in the Acheulian?W.A. 20:13–26.Google Scholar
  30. Gowlett, J. A. J. 1990. Technology, skill and the psychosocial sector in the long term of human evolution.Archaeological Review from Cambridge 9, 1:82–103.Google Scholar
  31. Gowlett, J. A. J. 1991. Kilombe-review of an African site complex. InCultural Beginnings: approaches to understanding early hominid lifeways in the African savannah (ed. J. D. Clark): pp. 129–36. Mainz: Romisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum.Google Scholar
  32. Gowlett, J. A. J. 1993. Le site Acheuleen de Kilombe: stratigraphie, geochronologie, habitat et industrie lithique.L'A 97:69–84.Google Scholar
  33. Gregory, J. W. 1921.The Rift Valleys and Geology of East Africa. London: Seeley, Service.Google Scholar
  34. Harris, J. W. K. and Gowlett, J. A. J. 1980. Evidence of early stone tool industries at Chesowanja, Kenya.P.A.C. 8:208–12.Google Scholar
  35. Howell, F. C. and Clark, J. D. 1963. Acheulian hunter-gatherers of sub-saharan Africa. InAfrican Ecology and Human Evolution (eds F. C. Howell and F. Bourlière): pp. 458–533. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  36. Howell, F. C., Cole, G. H. and Kleindienst, M. R. 1962. Isimila, an Acheulean occupation site in the Iringa Highlands, Southern Highlands Province, Tanganyika.P.A.C. 4:43–80.Google Scholar
  37. Isaac, G. Ll. 1967. The stratigraphy of the Peninj Group — early Middle Pleistocene formations west of Lake Natron, Tanzania. InBackground to Evolution in Africa (eds W. W. Bishop and J. D. Clark): pp. 229–58. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  38. Isaac, G. Ll. 1968.The Acheulian site complex at Olorgesailie: a contribution to the interpretation of Middle Pleistocene culture in East Africa. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  39. Isaac, G. Ll. 1972. Chronology and the tempo of cultural change during the Pleistocene. InCalibration of Hominoid Evolution (eds. W. W. Bishop, and J. A. Miller): pp. 381–430. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.Google Scholar
  40. Isaac, G. Ll. 1975. Stratigraphy and cultural patterns in East Africa during the middle ranges of Pleistocene time. InAfter the Australopithecines (eds K. W. Butzer and G. Ll. Isaac): pp. 495–542. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  41. Isaac, G. Ll. 1977.Olorgesailie: archaeological studies of a Middle Pleistocene lake basin. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Isaac, G. Ll. 1984. The archaeology of human origins: studies of the lower Pleistocene in East Africa, 1971–1981.Advances in World Archaeology 3:1–87.Google Scholar
  43. Isaac, G. Ll. and Curtis, G. 1974. Age of early Acheulian industries from the Peninj Group, Tanzania.Nature 249:624–7.Google Scholar
  44. Isaac, G. Ll. and Harris, J. W. K. 1978. Archaeology. InKoobi Fora Research Project, Volume 1: the fossil hominids and an introduction to their context, 1968–1974 (eds M. G. Leakey and R. E. Leakey): pp. 64–85. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  45. Jolicoeur, P. 1963: The multivariate generalization of the allometry equation.Biometrics 19:497–9.Google Scholar
  46. Kleindienst, M. R. 1961. Variability within the late Acheulean assemblage in eastern Africa.S.A.A.B. 16:35–52.Google Scholar
  47. Kleindienst, M. R. 1962. Components of the East African Acheulian assemblage: an analytic approach.P.A.C. 4:81–105.Google Scholar
  48. Leakey, L. S. B. 1931.The Stone Age Cultures of Kenya Colony. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Leakey, L. S. B. 1934.Adam's Ancestors. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  50. Leakey, L. S. B. 1936.Stone Age Races of Kenya. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Leakey, L. S. B. and Cole, S. (eds) 1952.P.A.C. 1, Nairobi. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  52. Leakey, M., Tobias, P. V., Martyn, J. E., and Leakey, R. E. F. 1969. An Acheulian industry with prepared core technique and the discovery of a contemporary hominid at Lake Baringo, Kenya.P.P.S. 35:48–76.Google Scholar
  53. Leakey, M. D. 1971.Olduvai Gorge, Vol. III: excavations in Beds I and II, 1960–1963. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Leakey, M. D. 1975. Cultural patterns in the Olduvai sequence. InAfter the Australopithecines (eds K. W. Butzer and G. Ll. Isaac): pp. 477–94. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  55. McBrearty, S. 1988. The Sangoan-Lupemban and Middle Stone Age sequence at the Muguruk site, western Kenya.W.A. 19:379–420.Google Scholar
  56. McBrearty, S. 1991. Recent research in western Kenya and its implications for the status of the Sangoan industry. InCultural Beginnings: approaches to understanding early hominid lifeways in the African savannah (ed. J. D. Clark): pp. 159–76. Mainz: Romisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum.Google Scholar
  57. McCall, G. J. H. 1964. Kilombe Caldera, Kenya.Proceedings of the Geological Association 75:563–72.Google Scholar
  58. McCall, G. J. H. 1967.Geology of the Nakuru-Thomson's Falls-Lake Hannington Area. Nairobi: Geological Survey of Kenya.Google Scholar
  59. McCall, G. J. H., Baker, B. H. and Walsh, J. 1967. Later Tertiary and Quaternary sediments of the Kenya Rift Valley. InBackground to Evolution in Africa (eds W. W. Bishop and J. D. Clark): pp. 191–220. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  60. Mason, R. 1962.Prehistory of the Transvaal. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Mturi, A. A. 1991. The culture-stratigraphy, lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy of the Acheulian sites of Lake Natron, Tanzania. InCultural Beginnings: approaches to understanding early hominid lifeways in the African savannah (ed. J. D. Clark): pp. 125–7. Mainz: Romisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum.Google Scholar
  62. Nilsson, E. 1940. Ancient changes of climate in British East Africa and Abyssinia.Avtryck Geografiska Annaler, Stockholm: 1–79.Google Scholar
  63. Norusis, M. and SPSS Inc. 1988.SPSS PC+ Advanced Statistics V 2.0 (Update for V3.1, 1989). Chicago: SPSS.Google Scholar
  64. Nyamweru, C. 1980.Rifts and Volcanoes: a study of the East African rift system. Nairobi: Nelson.Google Scholar
  65. Potts, R. 1989. Olorgesailie: new excavations and findings in Early and Middle Pleistocene contexts, southern Rift Valley.J.H.E. 18:477–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Pulfrey, W. 1944.Report on the examination of the Kariandusi diatomite deposits, Cole Estates, Gilgil. Nairobi: Mines and Geological Department (unpublished).Google Scholar
  67. Roche, H., Brugal, J.-P., Lefèvre, D., Ploux, S. and Texier, P.-J. 1988. Isenya: etat des recherches sur un nouveau site acheuléen d'Afrique orientale.A.A.R. 6:27–55.Google Scholar
  68. Roe, D. A. 1964. The British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic: some problems, method of study, and preliminary results.P.P.S. 30:245–67.Google Scholar
  69. Roe, D. A. 1968. British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic handaxe groups.P.P.S. 34:1–82.Google Scholar
  70. Schick, K. D. 1991. On making behavioural inferences for early archaeological sites. InCultural Beginnings: approaches to understanding early hominid lifeways in the African savannah (ed. J. D. Clark): pp. 79–107. Mainz: Romisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum.Google Scholar
  71. Shackleton, R. M. 1955. Pleistocene movements in the Gregory Rift Valley.Sonderdruck aus der Geologische Rundschau 43:257–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Solomon, J. D. 1931. Appendix A: the geology of the implementiferous deposits in the Nakuru and Naivasha Basins and the surrounding area in Kenya Colony. InThe Stone Age Cultures of Kenya Colony (by L. S. B. Leakey): pp. 245–66. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  73. Tabachnick, B. G. and Fidell, L. S. 1989.Using Multivariate Statistics. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  74. Tallon, P. 1978. Geological setting of the hominid fossil and Acheulian artifacts from the Kapthurin Formation, Baringo District, Kenya. InGeological Background to Fossil Man (ed. W. W. Bishop): pp. 361–73. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.Google Scholar
  75. Washbourn, C. K. 1967. Lake levels and Quaternary climates in the eastern Rift Valley of Kenya.Nature 216:672–3.Google Scholar
  76. Williams, L. A. J. 1978. Character of Quaternary volcanism in the Gregory Rift Valley. InGeological Background to Fossil Man (ed. W. W. Bishop): pp. 55–70. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.Google Scholar
  77. Wynn, T. 1979. The intelligence of later Acheulian hominids.Man 14:371–91.Google Scholar
  78. Wynn, T. 1981. The intelligence of Oldowan hominids.J.H.E. 10:529–41.Google Scholar
  79. Wynn, T. 1985. Piaget, stone tools and the evolution of human intelligence.W.A. 17:32–43.Google Scholar
  80. Wynn, T. and Tierson, F. 1990. Regional comparison of the shapes of later Acheulean handaxes.American Anthropologist 92:73–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Cambridge University Press 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. J. Gowlett
  • R. H. Crompton

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations