The Role of Landscape Knowledge Networks in the Early Pleistocene Technological Variability of East Africa
Early human behaviour was related to the social knowledge of the landscape through an awareness of the spatio-temporal distribution of resources and the ability to successfully exploit that resource network. In this paper, we explore the dynamics of raw material procurement, technological manufacture and tool use in several Early Pleistocene assemblages from the Oldowan and Early Acheulean of East Africa. We argue that investment in lithic assemblages would have been dependent on the accumulation and consolidation of environmental knowledge through the adoption of food-procurement strategies allowing for predictable access to highly-ranked resources in open and seasonal environments. Integrating the plasticity of social knowledge networks as a population-dependent process with the relationship between procurement strategies and resource predictability within the landscape provides an interpretive framework that can explain and illustrate the broad scale technological differences present in Early Pleistocene assemblages.