The Turkana Basin Institute will host the thirteenth workshop of the Stony Brook/TBI Human Evolution Workshop series at its Turkwel campus from August 2 – 6. Entitled Rethinking Tool-making, the workshop is organized by archaeologists Drs. Sonia Harmand and Hélène Roche.
The 2015 discovery of the earliest-known stone tools at Lomekwi 3 in West Turkana has prompted a reexamination of technical adaptations in hominid development. Along with this discovery, recent publications in paleoanthropology, documenting hominin diversity and physical adaptations, have given rise to new investigations into the manipulative capabilities in early hominins and their implications for reconstructing cognition.


One of the world’s oldest stone tools from the Lomekwi 3 site. Photo credit: MPK-WTAP.

A few of the topics associated with hominin material culture to be discussed are:

  • motor skill and cognitive capacities
  • hominin fossils, anatomy (forelimb, wrist, hands, shoulder, thorax), functional morphology
  • use-wear traces, microscopic residues and functionality
  • ecology, environment and landscape use
  • adaptive benefits of tool-making
  • contribution from primatology

In the past, the HEW series has enjoyed great success with its model of bringing together smaller groups of scholars to meet for several days in an informal setting, for the purpose of addressing important issues in prehistory sciences, usually at one of TBI’s campuses in northern Kenya.