The Adaptive Behavior of the Not QuiteHuman

A quartz stone tool found by Gunnar Andersson in 1921 was the first clue that fossil hominids would be discovered at Dragon Bone Hill. But during the early years of the excavations, carried out under the supervision of paleontologists Otto Zdansky and Birger Bohlin, no archaeological remains were reported. In 1930 Davidson Black wrote that "though thousands of cubic meters of material from this deposit have been examined, no artifacts of any nature or any trace of fire" were discovered.1 Was this because they were absent in the interior reaches of the cave, where the first fossils were mined, or was it because these small irregularly broken pieces of quartz just went unrecognized amid the massive rubble resulting from the quarrying for bone? We determined to investigate this question because some important deductions concerning the behavior of Homo erectus depend on its answer.

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