Oldest evidence of toolmaking hominins in a grassland-dominated ecosystem

 

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dc.contributor.author Plummer, Thomas W en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Ditchfield, Peter W en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Bishop, Laura C en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Kingston, John D en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Ferraro, Joseph V en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Braun, David R en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Hertel, Fritz en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Potts, Richard en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-18T07:07:42Z
dc.date.available 2015-11-18T07:07:42Z
dc.date.issued 2009 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Plummer, T. W., Ditchfield, P. W., Bishop, L. C., Kingston, J. D., Ferraro, J. V., Braun, D. R., ... & Potts, R. (2009). Oldest evidence of toolmaking hominins in a grassland-dominated ecosystem. PLoS One, 4(9), e7199. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007199 en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15126
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0007199
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND: Major biological and cultural innovations in late Pliocene hominin evolution are frequently linked to the spread or fluctuating presence of C 4 grass in African ecosystems. Whereas the deep sea record of global climatic change provides indirect evidence for an increase in C 4 vegetation with a shift towards a cooler, drier and more variable global climatic regime beginning approximately 3 million years ago (Ma), evidence for grassland-dominated ecosystems in continental Africa and hominin activities within such ecosystems have been lacking. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We report stable isotopic analyses of pedogenic carbonates and ungulate enamel, as well as faunal data from ∼2.0 Ma archeological occurrences at Kanjera South, Kenya. These document repeated hominin activities within a grassland-dominated ecosystem. Conclusions/Significance These data demonstrate what hitherto had been speculated based on indirect evidence: that grassland-dominated ecosystems did in fact exist during the Plio-Pleistocene, and that early Homo was active in open settings. Comparison with other Oldowan occurrences indicates that by 2.0 Ma hominins, almost certainly of the genus Homo , used a broad spectrum of habitats in East Africa, from open grassland to riparian forest. This strongly contrasts with the habitat usage of Australopithecus , and may signal an important shift in hominin landscape usage. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_ZA
dc.rights This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. en_ZA
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 en_ZA
dc.source PLoS One en_ZA
dc.source.uri http://journals.plos.org/plosone en_ZA
dc.subject.other Paleoanthropology en_ZA
dc.subject.other Human evolution en_ZA
dc.subject.other Archaeology en_ZA
dc.subject.other Paleozoology en_ZA
dc.subject.other Habitats en_ZA
dc.subject.other Paleoecology en_ZA
dc.subject.other Carbonates en_ZA
dc.title Oldest evidence of toolmaking hominins in a grassland-dominated ecosystem en_ZA
dc.type Journal Article en_ZA
dc.rights.holder © 2009 Plummer et al en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Article en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Archaeology en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Plummer, T. W., Ditchfield, P. W., Bishop, L. C., Kingston, J. D., Ferraro, J. V., Braun, D. R., ... Potts, R. (2009). Oldest evidence of toolmaking hominins in a grassland-dominated ecosystem. <i>PLoS One</i>, http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15126 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Plummer, Thomas W, Peter W Ditchfield, Laura C Bishop, John D Kingston, Joseph V Ferraro, David R Braun, Fritz Hertel, and Richard Potts "Oldest evidence of toolmaking hominins in a grassland-dominated ecosystem." <i>PLoS One</i> (2009) http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15126 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Plummer TW, Ditchfield PW, Bishop LC, Kingston JD, Ferraro JV, Braun DR, et al. Oldest evidence of toolmaking hominins in a grassland-dominated ecosystem. PLoS One. 2009; http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15126. en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Journal Article AU - Plummer, Thomas W AU - Ditchfield, Peter W AU - Bishop, Laura C AU - Kingston, John D AU - Ferraro, Joseph V AU - Braun, David R AU - Hertel, Fritz AU - Potts, Richard AB - BACKGROUND: Major biological and cultural innovations in late Pliocene hominin evolution are frequently linked to the spread or fluctuating presence of C 4 grass in African ecosystems. Whereas the deep sea record of global climatic change provides indirect evidence for an increase in C 4 vegetation with a shift towards a cooler, drier and more variable global climatic regime beginning approximately 3 million years ago (Ma), evidence for grassland-dominated ecosystems in continental Africa and hominin activities within such ecosystems have been lacking. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We report stable isotopic analyses of pedogenic carbonates and ungulate enamel, as well as faunal data from ∼2.0 Ma archeological occurrences at Kanjera South, Kenya. These document repeated hominin activities within a grassland-dominated ecosystem. Conclusions/Significance These data demonstrate what hitherto had been speculated based on indirect evidence: that grassland-dominated ecosystems did in fact exist during the Plio-Pleistocene, and that early Homo was active in open settings. Comparison with other Oldowan occurrences indicates that by 2.0 Ma hominins, almost certainly of the genus Homo , used a broad spectrum of habitats in East Africa, from open grassland to riparian forest. This strongly contrasts with the habitat usage of Australopithecus , and may signal an important shift in hominin landscape usage. DA - 2009 DB - OpenUCT DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0007199 DP - University of Cape Town J1 - PLoS One LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2009 T1 - Oldest evidence of toolmaking hominins in a grassland-dominated ecosystem TI - Oldest evidence of toolmaking hominins in a grassland-dominated ecosystem UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15126 ER - en_ZA


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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.