Uncovering the behavior and cognition of the earliest stone tool makers

Rosati, A. G. (2016). Uncovering the behavior and cognition of the earliest stone tool makers. Evolutionary Anthropology , 25, 269–270.

[PDF]  [Publisher’s Version]  Abstract

In August 2016, the 13th Human Evolution Workshop at the Turkana Basin Institute (TBI) brought together a diverse group of scientists from archeology, paleontology, geology, primatology, cognition, and neuroscience. Organized by Sonia Harmand (Stony Brook and TBI), and Helene Roche (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) along with TBI director Lawrence Martin (Stony Brook), the workshop focused on the earliest evidence of stone knapping. This focus was spurred by the recent discovery of stone tools at the Lomekwi 3 site in Kenya, which have been dated to 3.3 Mya. It is suspected that these tools were produced by Kenyathropus platyops, the only hominin found in the region during that period. As delineated by Richard Leakey (Stony Brook and TBI), our task was to assess whether these tools represent a “cognitive Rubicon” —a fundamental transition in our lineage that demarcates the human species.