Journal Article Nut cracking tools used by captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and their comparison with early stone age percussive artefacts from olduvai gorge

Arroyo, Adrián  ,  Hirata, Satoshi  ,  Matsuzawa, Tetsuro  ,  De La Torre, Ignacio

11 ( 11 ) 2016-11-21 , Public Library of Science
We present the results of a series of experiments at the Kumamoto Sanctuary in Japan, in which captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) performed several nut cracking sessions using raw materials from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. We examined captive chimpanzee pounding tools using a combination of technological analysis, use-wear distribution, and micro-wear analysis. Our results show specific patterns of use-wear distribution across the active surfaces of pounding tools, which reveal some similarities with traces on archaeological percussive objects from the Early Stone Age, and are consistent with traces on other experimental pounding tools used by modern humans. The approach used in this study may help to stablish a framework with which to interpret archaeological assemblages and improve understanding of use-wear formation processes on pounding tools used by chimpanzees. This study represents the first direct comparison of chimpanzee pounding tools and archaeological material, and thus may contribute to a better understanding of hominin percussive activities.

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