Repository logo
 

Antarctica as a 'natural laboratory' for the critical assessment of the archaeological validity of early stone tool sites

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Bebber, MR 
Buchanan, B 
Grunow, A 
Key, A 

Abstract

jats:pLithic technologies dominate understanding of early humans, yet natural processes can fracture rock in ways that resemble artefacts made by jats:italicHomo sapiens</jats:italic> and other primates. Differentiating between fractures made by natural processes and primates is important for assessing the validity of early and controversial archaeological sites. Rather than depend on expert authority or intuition, the authors propose a null model of conchoidally fractured Antarctic rocks. As no primates have ever occupied the continent, Antarctica offers a laboratory for generating samples that could only have been naturally fractured. Examples that resemble artefacts produced by primates illustrate the potential of ‘archaeological’ research in Antarctica for the evaluation of hominin sites worldwide.</jats:p>

Description

Keywords

Antarctica, Pleistocene, lithic technologies, conchoidal fracture, archaeological knowledge production

Journal Title

Antiquity

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0003-598X
1745-1744

Volume Title

Publisher

Antiquity Publications