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Primate archaeology

Abstract

All modern humans use tools to overcome limitations of our anatomy and to make difficult tasks easier. However, if tool use is such an advantage, we may ask why it is not evolved to the same degree in other species. To answer this question, we need to bring a long-term perspective to the material record of other members of our own order, the Primates.

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Figure 1: Chimpanzee plant use.
Figure 2: Primate stone-tool use.
Figure 3: Wear patterns on chimpanzee pounding stone tools.
Figure 4: Primate site creation.

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Acknowledgements

We thank R. Foley and the US National Science Foundation Revealing Hominid Origins Initiative. The University of Cambridge, the Galton Institute and King’s College, Cambridge, UK, sponsored the symposium ‘Primatology Meets Palaeoanthropology 2: The Origins of Percussive Technology’, held in October 2008 at the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies in Cambridge.

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Correspondence to Michael Haslam.

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Haslam, M., Hernandez-Aguilar, A., Ling, V. et al. Primate archaeology. Nature 460, 339–344 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature08188

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