Excavation of a Chimpanzee Stone Tool Site in the African Rainforest

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Science  24 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5572, pp. 1452-1455
DOI: 10.1126/science.1070268

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Chimpanzees from the Taı̈ forest of Côte d'Ivoire produce unintentional flaked stone assemblages at nut-cracking sites, leaving behind a record of tool use and plant consumption that is recoverable with archaeological methods. About 40 kilograms of nutshell and 4 kilograms of stone were excavated at the Panda 100 site. The data unearthed show that chimpanzees transported stones from outcrops and soils to focal points, where they used them as hammers to process foodstuff. The repeated use of activity areas led to refuse accumulation and site formation. The implications of these data for the interpretation of the earliest hominin archaeological record are explored.

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