Friday, December 19, 2014

The Tool Makers of Kathu

A handaxe pictured as it was found.

Image from Walker et al. 2013 report: A second phase 2 archaeological data recovery
at the site of Kathu Townlands of Erf5116.

How many artifacts were found? In just a few meter-square sample pits over a several acres, archaeologists collected 10s of thousands of stone tools and products of tool making. The archaeologists estimated that there are on average 900 artifacts per 100x100x10 cm volume of material in this area with much of the area up to 2 meters deep in artifact rich soils. This high concentration of artifacts along with available source rock in outcrops nearby suggests that long ago this [Kathu, South Africa] was a tool making center.

Read more here.

Excavated Stratum 4a at the Kathu complex is dated to 500,000 years Before Present. Beige-white sand and a large assemblage of handaxes were found at both strata 4a and 4b. Large mammal remains have been identified at both strata. Stratum 4b also contains a large sample of elephant tooth plates similar to those found at Olorgesailie in Kenya, in levels predating 800,000 years BP.

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