The Royal Society

Supplementary material from "Emergent technological variation in archaeological landscapes: a primate perspective"

Version 2 2023-06-15, 03:02
Version 1 2023-05-31, 19:15
Posted on 2023-06-15 - 03:02
Archaeological evidence informs our understanding of the evolution of hominin behaviour. Such evidence is traditionally used to reconstruct hominin activities and intentions. In the Plio-Pleistocene, the presence or absence of specific tools and variation in artefact density is often used to infer foraging strategies, cognitive traits and functional activities. However, the Plio-Pleistocene archaeological record is known to be time-averaged and forms through the aggregation of repeated behavioural events over time. Thus, archaeological patterns do not reflect discrete episodes of activity, but rather the interaction of behaviour with environmental factors over time. However, little is known about how such interactions produce archaeological variation diversity. Primate archaeology can help address this research gap by providing the opportunity to observe how behaviour produces material patterns in a natural setting. This study, thus, examines how varying the material properties of stone and resource availability influence the artefactual signature of nut-cracking in a population of long-tailed macaques from Lobi Bay, Yao Noi island, Thailand. Results show that these interactions can produce a structured and diverse material signature in terms of artefact density and frequency of specific artefact types. These findings demonstrate how material patterns can emerge from long-term interactions between behaviour and environmental factors.


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Journal of the Royal Society Interface


Jonathan S. Reeves
Tomos Proffitt
Suchinda Malaivijitnond
Lydia V. Luncz
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