African Homo erectus: Old radiometric ages and young oldowan assemblages in the Middle Awash Valley, Ethiopia

J. D. Clark, J. De Heinzelin, K. D. Schick, W. K. Hart, T. D. White, G. WoldeGabriel, R. C. Walter, G. Suwa, B. Asfaw, E. Vrba, Y. H. Selassie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fossils and artifacts recovered from the middle Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar depression sample the Middle Pleistocene transition from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens. Ar/Ar ages, biostratigraphy, and tephrachronology from this area indicate that the Pleistocene Bodo hominid cranium and newer specimens are approximately 0.6 million years old. Only Oldowan chopper and flake assemblages are present in the lower stratigraphic units, but Acheulean bifacial artifacts are consistently prevalent and widespread in directly overlying deposits. This technological transition is related to a shift in sedimentary regime, supporting the hypothesis that Middle Pleistocene Oldowan assemblages represent a behavioral facies of the Acheulean industrial complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1910
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume264
Issue number5167
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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