Early hominid hunting and scavenging: A zooarcheological review


  • Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo,

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    • Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo is a Professor of the Department of Prehistory at the Complutense University in Spain. He has been a Fulbright scholar and a visiting faculty member at Rutgers University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is the head of the paleoanthropological project at Peninj in Tanzania and a member of the International Gona team in Ethiopia. His research is focused on taphonomy of the archeofaunas of early African sites.

  • Travis Rayne Pickering

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    • Travis Rayne Pickering is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University and a Research Associate of the CRAFT Research Center and the Sterkfontein Research Unit. His research focuses on the zooarcheology and taphonomy of Plio-Pleistocene Africa and includes a prominent actualistic component.


Before the early 1980s, the prevailing orthodoxy in paleoanthropology considered Early Stone Age archeological sites in East Africa to represent a primitive form of hominid campsites. The faunal evidence preserved in these sites was viewed as the refuse of carcass meals provided by hominid males in a social system presumptively characterized by sexual division of labor. This interpretation of early hominid life ways, commonly known as the “Home Base” or “Food Sharing” model, was developed most fully by Glynn Isaac.1–4 As Bunn and Stanford5 emphasized, this model was greatly influenced by a paradigm that coalesced between 1966 and 1968, referred to as “Man the Hunter.”6