Behavioral Inferences from Early Stone Age Sites: A View from the Koobi Fora Formation

Author(s): Jonathan Reeves; David Braun; Matthew Douglass

Year: 2017


The Early Stone Age record is a spatially continuous palimpsest representing thousands of years of artifact discard. The record thus reflects a long-term pattern of hominin movement at a landscape scale. Despite this, most recent research continues to employ interpretive perspectives suited for finer temporal grains and relies on targeted excavation of dense concentrations of artifacts. Here ‘sites’ are investigated as discrete functionally organized places and analytically interpreted based on differences in gross artifact density and the frequencies of different typo-techonological forms. Such a perspective ignores the spatial extent, formational complexity and temporal depth of this record. What is needed instead is a better understanding of the behavioral processes that contribute to the formation of the record at broader scales. Here we investigate the regional structure of the archaeological record through the lens of movement. We apply assemblage-scale measures to quantify movement of stone across the Okote Member in the Koobi Fora Formation. Results demonstrate that hominin movement patterns structure the archaeological record at large spatial scales. We suggest that a movement-ecology framework is better suited for understanding the Early Pleistocene record than activities facies or cultural-historical models. This research is supported by NSF-IRES(OISE-1358178 and 1358200).

Cite this Record

Behavioral Inferences from Early Stone Age Sites: A View from the Koobi Fora Formation. Jonathan Reeves, David Braun, Matthew Douglass. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430866)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17190