Exploring Humanity’s Technological Origins
On Wednesday, Apr. 6, Sonia Harmand will discuss the discovery of stone tools in a 3.3-million-year-old archaeological site in Kenya known as Lomekwi 3. She will show how this discovery is reshaping an understanding of the emergence of human-like manipulative capabilities, as well as the development of cognition in early hominins—the group consisting of modern humans and all immediate ancestors. Human evolutionary scholars have long assumed that the earliest stone tools were made by members of the genus Homo, 2.4–2.3 million years ago, and that this technological development was directly linked to climate change plus the spread of savannah grasslands. In the last decade, fieldwork in West Turkana, Kenya, has revealed evidence of much earlier technological behavior.
Sonia F. Harmand is an associate professor in the department of anthropology at the Turkana Basin Institute at Stony Brook University as well as the director of Mission Préhistorique au Kenya/West Turkana Archaeological Project. This free, virtual lecture is presented by Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and Harvard Museums of Science & Culture.