Archaeology: Behavioral traces of early hominins
Middle Stone Age (MSA) artifacts are found across Rusinga Island, Mfangano Island, and Karungu on mainland Kenya. MSA artifacts are consistently found with early fossils of Homo sapiens, and most MSA sites probably record the behaviors of early populations of our species. As pictured above, these include small points that may have been used as hunting equipment, other tools such as scrapers, unretouched flakes, and a variety of Levallois, discoidal, and other cores from which sharp edged flakes were struck. Many of the stone artifacts are made of locally available lavas and chert, but others are made of rock type not found nearby, suggesting that Rusinga, Mfangano, and Karungu may have been part of a much larger territorial range. Rare cut-marked bones such as the one shown to the left indicate that the availability of game may have been one feature that attracted them to the area.