Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Oldowan

Part of the series Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology pp 61-69

Homo floresiensis and the African Oldowan

  • Mark W. MooreAffiliated withArchaeology and Palaeoanthropology, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales
  • , Adam BrummAffiliated withMcDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Downing Street, University of Cambridge

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The small-bodied hominin Homo floresiensis was recently identified at Liang Bua, Flores, Indonesia. Some researchers have argued that H. floresiensis represents pathological individuals from a behaviorally modern Homo sapiens population, arguing in part that the stone-tools found in association are too “advanced” to have been manufactured by a nonmodern hominin. Here we show that the Pleistocene stone-tools from Flores, including Liang Bua, are technologically and morphologically similar to the 1.2–1.9 Mya Oldowan/Developed Oldowan tools from Olduvai Gorge in Africa. The Pleistocene lithic technology on Flores was therefore within the capabilities of small-brained, nonmodern hominins.