News FocusAMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGISTS

Of Tools and Tubers

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Science  01 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5927, pp. 588-589
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_588b

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Summary

According to a new analysis of stone tools and bones left behind near Lake Victoria in Kenya presented at the Paleoanthropology Society gathering, which met concurrently with the American Association of Physical Anthropologists meeting, as early as 2 million years ago, humans purposely selected the highest-quality stone and transported it more than 13 kilometers to an animal butchery site. A collaborating team also reported that these early humans, presumably Homo habilis or early H. erectus, used tools not only to deflesh carcasses but also to slice tuberous roots, possibly a key part of their diet.