News of the WeekArchaeology

Can Chimps Ape Ancient Hominid Toolmakers?

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Science  24 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5572, pp. 1380
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5572.1380a

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Chimpanzees spend hours patiently using stone or wooden hammers to break open tough nutshells. Now, on page 1452, two primatologists and an archaeologist present one of the first research reports on chimpanzee archaeology--a description of stone pieces they dug up at a chimp nutcracking site in the Taï forest in C�te d'Ivoire. The researchers argue that the chimps' leavings bear some resemblance to some of the simplest artifacts left by hominids millions of years ago--although not all anthropologists agree.