Re: technology and intelligence

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Thu, 9 Feb 1995 15:40:14 -0500

Todd, I think some more recent chem analyses by Dr. Andrew Sillen (JHE?)
suggests that robust australos were more omnivorous than once thought.
Not my area of expertise, but perhaps someone else can verify such work?
R. Holloway.
Thu, 9 Feb 1995, Todd N Nims wrote:

> I may be reading this wrong but do plant eaters need hand choppers to
> attack and kill a wild plant? From what I have read the robust A.'s had
> no use for tools...and possibly the only connection to hand choppers they
> had was at the business end of one. Maybe Im confused about what was
> said....let me know.
> Todd N. Nims
> {}
> Auburn University, AL
> On Wed, 8 Feb 1995, Mr J.M. Ottevanger wrote:
> > further to Dwight Read's recent post re Susman's claims of Paranthropus tool
> > use, I'd like to point out that the case for ascribing these bones, a pollical
> > matacarpal and distal phalanx and also various other manual elements, to this
> > species is rather dodgy. First let it be known that I have no objection to the
> > idea that the robusts could make and use the Oldowan tools found at Swartkrans
> > in principle, in fact if pushed I'd back the view, but one must be sceptical
> > of the evidence. The bones are unassociated and the taphonomy poorly understoo
> d.
> > This is not the case to go into it in too much detail, but the taxonomic attri
> bu
> > tion
> > was made largely on thebasis of the relative abundance of Homo cf erectus vs P
> ar
> > anthropus
> > robustus craniodental remains.This is due to the rarity of postcrania and igno
> re
> > s
> > the possibility that the postcrania show a different pattern of abundance due
> > to different modes of accumulation. Until the origins of the bones of both
> > species and the tools themselves are better understood it would be foolish to
> > place these specimens in one taxon or the other on statistical grounds. Sorry
> > to have laboured the point, but the issue is as far as I'm concerned totally
> > unresolved.
> > Discuss, if you got this far.
> > Cheers, Jeremy.
> >