By D W Phillipson
During this absolutely revised and improved variation of his seminal archaeological survey, David Phillipson provides a lucid, totally illustrated account of African prehistory, from the origins of humanity to the time of eu colonisation, and demonstrates the relevance of archaeological learn to an knowing of Africa today.
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Boisei from Olduvai; 3, large-brained Homo, cf. H. rudolfensis (1470) from Koobi Fora shown above in Figure 6. It should be stressed that there is particular controversy concerning the relationship between Australopithecus and the earliest members of the genus Homo; some authorities (Wood and Collard 1999) deny that two genera are represented, regarding H. habilis as a gracile australopithecine. The dispute serves to emphasise the difﬁculty, noted above, of describing evolutionary processes in Linnaean terms.
In modern people, the brain extends above the face, with the development of a true forehead, and the muscle is attached to the base of the skull. In both respects, australopithecines occupy a position intermediate between the gorilla and modern humans. In two important ways, Australopithecus africanus was much closer to a person than to a gorilla: the posture was completely upright, and the canine teeth were much reduced in size. A gorilla’s molar teeth serve essentially a crushing function: in people and the australopithecines they are primarily grinders.
As noted above, the sites comprise dolomite or limestone caves where fossil bones became incorporated in earthy deposits which have since hardened to produce the rock-like material known as breccia. The ﬁrst discovery was made during quarrying operations at Taung, near the Harts River 130 kilometres north of Kimberley, in 1924 (Fig. 17). It consisted The emergence of humankind in Africa Fig. 17: Calciﬁed breccia and travertine deposits at Taung. The cairn in the foreground commemorates the discovery of Australopithecus africanus in 1924.
African archaeology by D W Phillipson