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The East African Early Acheulean of Peninj (Lake Natron, Tanzania)

  • Fernando Diez-Martín
  • Policarpo Sánchez-Yustos
  • Luis de Luque
Chapter
Part of the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology book series (VERT)

Abstract

The Pleistocene record of Peninj, dated to 1.5–1.4 Ma and located on the Western shore of Lake Natron (Tanzania), is one of the classic archaeo-paleontological sources for the study of the early Acheulean in Africa. Beginning with the seminal project led by Glynn Isaac in the decades of 1960s and 1980s, other research programs have been carried out in Peninj since then, particularly the landscape archaeology approach undertaken by M. Domínguez-Rodrigo between 1995 and 2005. In 2007, fieldwork was resumed in the area and a new project is currently in progress. As a result of this long-lasting scientific effort, the variety of geological, contextual, technological, and spatial information gathered so far can shed light on a number of aspects related to the early Acheulean record identified in the three different archaeological areas of Peninj (the Type Section, the North and the South Escarpments). This paper presents a synthesis of the history of research in Lake Natron and the geology of the Peninj Group. It also reviews some of the main discussions related to the Type Section technology, the bifacial hierarchical centripetal method hypothesis, and the Oldowan–Acheulean dichotomy for the attribution of the lithic samples in the framework of the archaeological record of Peninj. The paper includes a synthesis of the new data gathered in the Acheulean sites of the Escarpments in the course of the present research project and, finally, a regional interpretation of the early Acheulean of the Lake Natron.

Keywords

Lake Natron Technology LCTs Landscape Type Section Escarpments 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Diez-Martín
    • 1
  • Policarpo Sánchez-Yustos
    • 1
  • Luis de Luque
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Prehistory and ArchaeologyUniversity of ValladolidValladolidSpain
  2. 2.Fundación Conjunto Paleontológico de Teruel-DinópolisTeruelSpain

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