Taphonomic and geological approaches to the identification of in situ versus ex situ archaeological material: a case study from BK East, Bed II, Olduvai Gorge
A variety of post-depositional processes can add to, subtract from, and/or spatially reconfigure archaeological deposits. The challenge for archaeologists, then, is to unravel these processes in order to assess the fidelity with which a given deposit reflects hominin behavior. BK East, an early Pleistocene locality in Olduvai Gorge’s middle/upper Bed II, preserves stone tools, butchered animal bones, and hominin remains. This rich archaeo-paleontological collection rests within an interbedded fluvial sequence that is blanketed by and, in some cases, interstratified with, colluvial deposits. This convoluted stratigraphic situation has produced a mixture of in situ and ex situ remains in close proximity. Using geological context, the excavated faunal material from BK East was divided into fluvial and colluvial subassemblages. The weathering profiles and patterns of specimen orientation and inclination for each subassemblage were compared to determine if taphonomic characteristics can reliably distinguish between these depositional contexts.
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Taphonomic and geological approaches to the identification of in situ versus ex situ archaeological material: a case study from BK East, Bed II, Olduvai Gorge. Elizabeth Wilson, Cynthia M. Fadem, Victoria P. Johnson, Audax Z. P. Mabulla, Charles P. Egeland. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429437)
min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;
Abstract Id(s): 14739