4,300-year-old chimpanzee sites and the origins of percussive stone technology.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Mercader, Julio; Barton, Huw; Gillespie, Jason; Harris, Jack; Kuhn, Steven; Tyler, Robert; Boesch, Christophe
Year of Publication: 2007
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Volume: 104
Issue: 9
Pagination: 3043-8
Date Published: 2007 Feb 27
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 0027-8424
Keywords: Animals, Anthropology, Behavior, Animal, Cote d'Ivoire, Feeding Behavior, Fossils, Pan troglodytes

Archaeological research in the African rainforest reveals unexpected results in the search for the origins of hominoid technology. The ancient Panin sites from Côte d'Ivoire constitute the only evidence of prehistoric ape behavior known to date anywhere in the world. Recent archaeological work has yielded behaviorally modified stones, dated by chronometric means to 4,300 years of age, lodging starch residue suggestive of prehistoric dietary practices by ancient chimpanzees. The "Chimpanzee Stone Age" pre-dates the advent of settled farming villages in this part of the African rainforest and suggests that percussive material culture could have been inherited from an common human-chimpanzee clade, rather than invented by hominins, or have arisen by imitation, or resulted from independent technological convergence.

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0607909104
Alternate Journal: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.