Archaeology Concepts and Methods

Formation processes in archaeology study the sites, with human involvement, that were buried and what happened to them after being buried. Hominin fossils, animal fossils, and stone tools are closely related. To identify the relationship between them, it is necessary to consider using the formation processes. Stone tools have a great relation with hominin fossils as they were used in the early stone age, middle stone age, and later stone age tools (The Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program n.p). Different sites that have been excavated, studied, and dated by archaeologists show that the sites contain remains of accumulated debris that hominins used to make stone tools. Archaeology concepts help us understand how stone tool remains show evidence of where hominins lived and their susceptible nature of survival in different habitats. Through geological and dating methods, it is evident that the presence of stone tools and animal fossils is proof that animals were concentrated in the water sources.

Hominin fossils, animal fossils, and stone tools can be dated to millions of years ago, and therefore the need to be cautious in their interpretation. Archaeology excavations are based on deposit concepts, and therefore one has to be very cautious in interpreting them. One must be cautious about developing meaningful human age, correlative dates, rebuilding the environment after excavation, and fully analyzing the formation processes. Apart from hominin hunting and scavenging, other processes can result in hominin fossils, animal fossils, and stone tools being found with one another in the archaeological record. Disarticulation is another process that can be associated with hunting and scavenging. Through the process, hominins were able to pound on bones using stone tools to break and extract marrow (Pobiner n.p). Through disarticulation, hominins also sliced meat from bones using sharp tools such as stone tools.


The Acheulean lithic technology can be attributed to the first appearance of the hand axe. The technology illustrates the perspective of technological expertise and human cognitive ability. East Africa has the earliest historical sites that contain Acheulean technology. The Homo erectus are mostly associated with the Acheulean technology. Tools created in Acheulean technology are the origin of human aesthetic abilities. The Acheulean tools are different from the Oldowan tools. Oldowan technology made simple tools that looked more like naturally made tools. The Oldowan technology only produced three inches of cutting edges from a pound of stone. On the other hand, Acheulean technology produced bifacial tools. The tools produced consisted of twelve inches of cutting edges from a pound of stone.

New features of human cognition might have enabled changes in Acheulean and Oldowan lithic technology. The new features include knowledge formation, judgment, memory, problem solving, and decision-making (Heyes 2093). With time, the hominid species began to adopt the new features. The concept of complexity in Acheulean biface is somehow surprising. It is also surprising that in Acheulean biface, symmetry has rarely been approached as a functional concept. Observers only are interested in knowing what symmetry illustrates on human cognitive abilities rather than the functional perspective that requires symmetry (Aljoe et al. 307). The Acheulean technology is the long-lasting technology in human history. The spatial distribution of the Acheulean technology can be associated with the onset of environmental enhancement. For instance, hominins moved into marginal areas like in the hominins of the Arabian Peninsula.

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Works Cited

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Heyes, C. (2012). New thinking: the evolution of human cognition | Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Retrieved 27 October 2021, from

Pobiner, B. (2013). Evidence for Meat-Eating by Early Humans | Learn Science at Scitable. Retrieved 27 October 2021, from The Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program. (2020). Stone Tools. The Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program. Retrieved 27 October 2021, from