19 research outputs found

    Bed II Sequence Stratigraphic context of EF-HR and HWK EE archaeological sites, and the Oldowan/Acheulean succession at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

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    Archaeological excavations at EF-HR and HWK EE allow reassessment of Bed II stratigraphy within the Junction Area and eastern Olduvai Gorge. Application of Sequence Stratigraphic methods provides a time-stratigraphic framework enabling correlation of sedimentary units across facies boundaries, applicable even in those areas where conventional timelines, such as tephrostratigraphic markers, are absent, eroded, or reworked. Sequence Stratigraphically, Bed II subdivides into five major Sequences 1 to 5, all floored by major disconformities that incise deeply into the underlying succession, proving that simple "layer cake" stratigraphy is inappropriate. Previous establishment of the Lemuta Member has invalidated the use of Tuff IIA as the boundary between Lower and Middle Bed II, now redefined at the disconformity between Sequences 2 and 3, a lithostratigraphic contact underlying the succession containing the Lower, Middle, and Upper Augitic Sandstones. HWK EE site records Oldowan technology in the Lower Augitic Sandstone at the base of Sequence 3, within Middle Bed II. We suggest placement of recently reported Acheulean levels at FLK W within the Middle Augitic Sandstone, thus emphasizing that handaxes are yet to be found in earlier stratigraphic units of the Olduvai sequence. This would place a boundary between the Oldowan and Acheulean technologies at Olduvai in the Tuff IIB zone or earliest Middle Augitic Sandstone. A major disconformity between Sequences 3 and 4 at and near EF-HR cuts through the level of Tuff IIC, placing the main Acheulean EF-HR assemblage at the base of Sequence 4, within Upper rather than Middle Bed II. Sequence stratigraphic methods also yield a more highly resolved Bed II stratigraphic framework. Backwall and sidewall surveying of archaeological trenches at EF-HR and HWK EE permits definition of ‚ÄúLake-parasequences‚ÄĚ nested within the major Sequences that record downcutting of disconformities associated with lake regression, then sedimentation associated with lake transgression, capped finally by another erosional disconformity or hiatal paraconformity caused by the next lake withdrawal. On a relative time-scale rather than a vertical metre scale, the resulting Wheeler diagram framework provides a basis for recognizing time-equivalent depositional episodes and the position of time gaps at various scales. Relative timing of archaeological assemblage levels can then be differentiated at a millennial scale within this framework

    The contexts and early Acheulean archaeology of the EF-HR paleo-landscape (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania)

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    Renewed fieldwork at the early Acheulean site of EF-HR (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania) has included detailed stratigraphic studies of the sequence, extended excavations in the main site, and has placed eleven additional trenches within an area of nearly 1 km(2), to sample the same stratigraphic interval as in the main trench across the broader paleo-landscape. Our new stratigraphic work suggests that EF-HR is positioned higher in the Bed II sequence than previously proposed, which has implications for the age of the site and its stratigraphic correlation to other Olduvai Middle Bed II sites. Geological research shows that the main EF-HR site was situated at the deepest part of an incised valley formed through river erosion. Archaeological excavations at the main site and nearby trenches have unearthed a large new assemblage, with more than 3000 fossils and artefacts, including a hundred handaxes in stratigraphic position. In addition, our test-trenching approach has detected conspicuous differences in the density of artefacts across the landscape, with a large cluster of archaeological material in and around the main trench, and less intense human activity at the same level in the more distant satellite trenches. All of these aspects are discussed in this paper in the light of site formation processes, behavioral contexts, and their implications for our understanding of the early Acheulean at Olduvai Gorge

    New excavations at the HWK EE site: Archaeology, paleoenvironment and site formation processes during late Oldowan times at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

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    This paper reports the results of renewed fieldwork at the HWK EE site (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania). HWK EE is positioned across the boundary between Lower and Middle Bed II, a crucial interval for studying the emergence of the Acheulean at Olduvai Gorge. Our excavations at HWK EE have produced one of the largest collections of fossils and artefacts from any Oldowan site, distributed across several archaeological units and a large excavation surface in four separate trenches that can be stratigraphically correlated. Here we present the main stratigraphic and archaeological units and discuss site formation processes. Results show a great density of fossils and stone tools vertically through two stratigraphic intervals (Lemuta and Lower Augitic Sandstone) and laterally across an area of around 300 m2, and highlight the confluence of biotic and abiotic agents in the formation of the assemblage. The large size and diversity of the assemblage, as well as its good preservation, qualify HWK EE as a reference site for the study of the late Oldowan at Olduvai Gorge and elsewhere in Africa. In addition, the description of the stratigraphic and archaeological sequence of HWK EE presented in this paper constitutes the foundation for further studies on hominin behavior and paleoecology in Lower and Middle Bed II

    Mammal community structure analysis

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    Alluvial-eolian interaction in a Cambrian rift margin: the Pedra das Torrinhas and Pedra Pintada formations (Guaritas Group, RS)

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    This work presents a study of selected outcrops from the Pedra das Torrinhas Formation of the Guaritas Group (Cambrian, Camaqu√£ Basin), near the basin bordering Encantadas Fault Zone. The studied succession includes alluvial fan deposits that pass laterally into eolian deposits. Sedimentary facies and architectural element analysis were performed, followed by sedimentary petrography and microscopic porosity analysis, aiming to characterize the porosity of the deposits and its spatial distribution. The main objective was to contribute to a better understanding of the porosity spatial distribution in depositional systems characterized by the interaction between alluvial and eolian processes, with special reference to deposits formed prior to the development of terrestrial plants. Porosity values are related to depositional processes, with higher porosities associated to eolian dune deposits (mean of 8.4%), and lower porosity related to interdunes (mean of 3.4%) and alluvial fans (mean of 4.3%). Architectural elements analysis revealed the spatial relationships of these deposits, a response to the interplay of the eolian and alluvial processes. The integration of porosity data reveals that the interaction of alluvial and eolian processes results in heterogeneous distribution of porosity at the facies association scale. Eolian reworking of alluvial facies increases porosity whereas sheet-flood and other alluvial processes in the interdune areas reduce porosity.<br>O presente trabalho consiste no estudo de afloramentos da Forma√ß√£o Pedra das Torrinhas do Grupo Guaritas (Cambriano, Bacia Camaqu√£), pr√≥ximo √† Zona de Falha das Encantadas. As sucess√Ķes estudadas incluem dep√≥sitos de leques aluviais que passam lateralmente para dep√≥sitos e√≥licos. Foram realizadas an√°lises de f√°cies e de elementos arquiteturais, seguidos de petrografia sedimentar e an√°lise microsc√≥pica de porosidade, com o objetivo de caracterizar a porosidade da unidade e sua distribui√ß√£o espacial. o principal objetivo foi contribuir para uma melhor compreens√£o da distribui√ß√£o espacial de porosidade em sistemas deposicionais caracterizados pela intera√ß√£o aluvial-e√≥lica, com aten√ß√£o especial √† sistemas deposicionais pr√©-vegeta√ß√£o. A porosidade √© controlada principalmente pelos processos deposicionais, com os valores maiores associados a dep√≥sitos de dunas e√≥licas (m√©dia de 8,4%) e os menores a facies de interdunas (m√©dia de 3,4%) e de leques aluviais (m√©dia de 4,3%). A an√°lise dos elementos arquiteturais mostra a rela√ß√£o espacial destes dep√≥sitos, provocada por intera√ß√Ķes entre sistemas deposicionais aluviais e e√≥licos. A integra√ß√£o de dados revela que a intera√ß√£o de processos aluviais e e√≥licos resultou em uma complexa heterogeneidades na escala de associa√ß√£o de facies. o retrabalhamento e√≥lico de f√°cies aluviais provocou aumento de porosidade enquanto que a ocorr√™ncia de enchentes-em-len√ßol em √°reas de interduna e o aporte de sedimentos aluviais em interdunas inundadas formaram corpos sedimentares com porosidade reduzida