Thomas Plummer

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York, Queens College, City U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9428

Approve Date

April 18, 2017

Project Title

Plummer, Dr.Thomas W., City U. of New York, Queen's College, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Excavation of 2.7-2.5 Million Year Old Oldowan Archaeological Sites at Nyayanga, Kenya'

Preliminary abstract: The appearance and spread of Oldowan archeological sites ca. 2.6 — 1.7 Ma (million years ago) reflects an important adaptive shift in human evolution. Stone technology gave hominins the potential to work a wide variety of materials, including foods that could only be acquired or prepared with tools. Funding is requested to excavate three ca. 2.6 Ma Oldowan sites at Nyayanga, Kenya. These archeological occurrences represent the first Oldowan sites of this antiquity outside of Gona, Ethiopia. All three sites are unusual in preserving fossils in close spatial association with artifacts, including a hippopotamid skeleton that might be the oldest example of megafaunal butchery. The multiproxy approach investigating hominin habitat use, lithic transport and reduction behavior, and artifact function is designed to provide a deeper understanding of the adaptive significance of early Oldowan technology.