Acheulean hominin landscape use and technological organization - views from Koobi Fora and the southern Cape
Darya Presnyakova
Tue, 12/10/2021 - 18:30 to 19:30
Western Cape
Title: Acheulean hominin landscape use and technological organization - views from Koobi Fora and the southern Cape
By: Dr Darya Presnyakova
Date: 12 October 2021, 18:30-19:30
YouTube Live Event link

The Acheulean occupied a vast temporal span of hominin behavioural evolution, from ~ 1.7 ma to ~ 125 ka, situated temporally between relatively simple Plio-Pleistocene Oldowan flaking industries and the onset of increasing technological complexity in the early Middle Stone Age. Much debate has centred on the evolutionary significance of emblematic Large Cutting Tools (abbreviated as “LCTs”), by which the Acheulean is traditionally characterized and identified in the archaeological record. Scientists have discussed the onset of LCT technologies as reflecting the expansion of hominin foraging ranges and mobility, diversity in strategies of stone procurement and use, increased spatial and temporal depths of planning and elevated information transfer and reliance on social learning mechanisms in tool production. A recent contrasting perspective argues that the Acheulean industry was a static and rather simple technology that was reinvented multiple times in prehistory, and converged on by various hominin populations in different temporal and geographic contexts. Here I will discuss both early and later Acheulean sites in Kenya and South Africa, and the implications for our understanding of patterns of Acheulean hominin landscape use, cognitive evolution and social transmission. I will present analyses of hominin technological organization focused on distributions of Acheulean sites and activities across the landscape, as well as patterns of LCT manufacture and discard. 

Darya Presnyakova is a field-focused archaeologist with broad interests in hominin behavioural evolution in the Early Stone Age (abbreviated as “ESA”). She was awarded her PhD in 2019 from Tübingen University in Germany. 
Dr Presnyakova draws on quantitative approaches to study ESA stone tool technologies. Her primary interest is in patterns of hominin resource use at the landscape scale, the adaptive mechanisms implicated in stone tool manufacture and the ecological variables influencing why artefacts were discarded at particular locations. A related interest is in the evolution of social transmission through the Stone Age which she examines through quantifying stone artefact production sequences, and artefact shape variability.Dr Presnyakova has conducted collaborative research in Kenya (Koobi Fora), South Africa (Elandsfontein, Montagu Cave, Simon’s Cave), Russia (Biruchaya Balka 2) and is initiating a new project focusing on Middle Pleistocene Acheulean sites in the southern African central interior.

YouTube Live Event link