A radiometric dating lab has processed a sample of volcanic ash from a layer of sediment from where the skull was found. The sample yielded a date of 150,000 years ago. The CRM firm would like your help identifying what they have found.

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Using the evidence the CRM firm has provided you, identify:   

  • The genus and species of the skull 
  • The type of tool (e.g., core, chopper, flake, hand axe, blade) and the name of the tool tradition (Oldowan, Acheulean, Mousterian, or Upper Paleolithic) it comes from. 

Using multiple lines of evidence, explain how you came to your identification for both the skull and the stone tool. In other words, what pieces of evidence did you use, and how did you use them?    

Your evidence should include at least 3 features of the skull. Be specific. Explain what it is about those features that helped you make your determination ‐ don’t just list them. To do this, you need to 
compare skulls.

Your evidence should include other things, too, not just the skull. Remember to use multiple lines of evidence. Be sure to LIST THE SOURCES YOU CONSULTED FOR YOUR ANSWERS.

For the identification portion, you can simply use bullet points for the skull and tool. For the explanation, use full sentences in paragraph form. Please number or highlight the three skull features you discuss.    

Make sure to explain! The more you can explain about how you arrived at your identifications, the more plausible your identifications are.  

Your submission might look something like this: 

• Paranthropus bosei   
• Hammerstone from the X stone tool tradition 

I compared X feature (Skull Feature #1) of the unidentified skull to the skull of X species and determined 
that…. I ruled out X species because Y feature (Skull Feature #2)…   Z feature (Skull Feature #3) is…    

After narrowing the possibilities down to X, Y, and Z species, I used X evidence to…    

The stone tool is similar to X, which are made by… X combined with Y tells me…   


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