Oldowan - e) 1990 Koobi Fora Field School at site FxJj50, c. 1.5MYA, Karari Industry.
Comment: FxJj50 is one of the classic Oldowan sites at Koobi Fora, on the west side of Lake Turkana, Kenya. Excavation revealed a cluster of stone artifacts and broken up bones that accumulated on the banks of a water course. The assemblage consists of flakes, flake fragments, and simple flaked cobbles. Fracture patterns on bones sugest breakage with hammers and cutmarks have been found on some bones. Evidence suggests hominid scavenging as well as carnivore scavenging at the site. This pattern is repeated at other Oldowan sites, e.g. FLK 'Zinj' at Olduvai Gorge. Microwear analysis of utilized flakes from various Oldowan sites, including FxJj50, indicate that they were used for cutting reeds, grasses, and other vegetal material, wood working, perhaps cutting digging sticks, and meat or hide cutting. This supports the theory that Oldowan hominids had a gathering and scavenging subsistence base. For details on FxJj50, see Bunn, H, Harris, J., Isaac, G., Kaufulu, Z, Kroll, E., Shick, K, Toth, N. and A. Behrensmeyer. (1980). FxJj50: an Early Pleistocene site in northern Kenya. World Archaeology 12,2:109-136. For the microwear study at FxJj50 see Keeley, L. and N. Toth. (1981). Microwear polishes on early stone tools from Koobi Fora, Kenya. Nature 293:464-465.
Photo © James Harrod