By D W Phillipson
During this totally revised and increased version of his seminal archaeological survey, David Phillipson provides a lucid, absolutely illustrated account of African prehistory, from the origins of humanity to the time of eu colonisation, and demonstrates the relevance of archaeological learn to an figuring out of Africa today.
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The deﬁning characteristic of a Linnaean species cannot be established from a fossil. Many fossils cannot be attributed with certainty to a male or a female individual; we may thus be unable to determine the degree of sexual dimorphism in a fossil population. In fact, we can obtain little if any idea from the fossil record of the amount of physical variation that can be accommodated within a fossil species. Linnaeus had no concept of evolution, so it is hardly surprising that his classiﬁcatory system cannot logically be applied to a diachronic situation of species-change.
Boisei. 3 million years ago (Howell et al. 1987), by which time Homo cf. habilis was present. These specimens, with those from the Nachukui Formation the earliest artefacts known from the Lake Turkana Basin, are simple ﬂakes struck from small nodules of quartz, which was the only suitable material available in the area (Fig. 13). They are attributed to the mode-1 Oldowan industry; their characteristics and signiﬁcance are discussed below. 2 million years ago. Detailed studies have demonstrated the local circumstances in which the deposits were laid down, and thus the immediate environments in which the various species represented in the fossil assemblages lived and died.
From 1936 onwards further discoveries began to be made in South Africa, ﬁrst at the sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans and Kromdraai in the Blaaubank Valley near Krugersdorp, and then at Makapansgat some 300 kilometres to the northeast near Mokopane (formerly Potgietersrus) (Brain 1993; Klein 1999 and references; H. J. and J. Deacon 1999; Kuman and Clarke 2000). More recently, further sites have been discovered in the Sterkfontein vicinity (Mitchell 2002 and references). Between them these sites have yielded the remains of several hundred australopithecines.
African archaeology by D W Phillipson