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Primate archaeology evolves

Haslam, M; Hernandez-Aguilar, RA; Proffitt, T; Arroyo, A; Falótico, T; Fragaszy, D; Gumert, M; ... Luncz, LV; + view all (2017) Primate archaeology evolves. Nature Ecology & Evolution , 1 (10) pp. 1431-1437. 10.1038/s41559-017-0286-4. Green open access

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Abstract

Since its inception, archaeology has traditionally focused exclusively on humans and our direct ancestors. However, recent years have seen archaeological techniques applied to material evidence left behind by non-human animals. Here, we review advances made by the most prominent field investigating past non-human tool use: primate archaeology. This field combines survey of wild primate activity areas with ethological observations, excavations and analyses that allow the reconstruction of past primate behaviour. Because the order Primates includes humans, new insights into the behavioural evolution of apes and monkeys also can be used to better interrogate the record of early tool use in our own, hominin, lineage. This work has recently doubled the set of primate lineages with an excavated archaeological record, adding Old World macaques and New World capuchin monkeys to chimpanzees and humans, and it has shown that tool selection and transport, and discrete site formation, are universal among wild stone-tool-using primates. It has also revealed that wild capuchins regularly break stone tools in a way that can make them difficult to distinguish from simple early hominin tools. Ultimately, this research opens up opportunities for the development of a broader animal archaeology, marking the end of archaeology's anthropocentric era.

Type: Article
Title: Primate archaeology evolves
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0286-4
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0286-4
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Animals, Archaeology, Biological Evolution, Primates, Tool Use Behavior
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10059764
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