Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.



(Oldoway), a gorge in northern Tanzania, 36 km northeast of Lake Eyasi. The remains of a Paleolithic culture and paleoanthropological materials—some of the oldest in the world —were preserved in a series of lake and subaerial deposits in Olduvai. Excavations were conducted by L. Leakey and M. Leakey from the 1930’s to the 1960’s; the most important discoveries were made between 1959 and 1963.

The lowest bed (more than 2 million years old) yielded the remains of a camp of ancient nomadic hunters and the bones of four apelike men (Homo habilis, pre-Zinjanthropus) who closely resembled the Australopithecus apes but had already crossed the boundary separating man from the animal kingdom. Homo habilis was well developed for walking erect and had attained a cranial capacity of 652 cc; many scholars regard him as Australopithecus and have named him Australopithecus habilis. Also found in the lowest bed were a skull of Australopithecus (Zinjan-thropus), the broken bones of animals killed in hunting (rodents, insectivores, and young ungulates), and very crude stone implements dating back to the oldest epoch of the Paleolithic (pre-Chellean, or pebble, culture; also called Oldowan culture). Stonework, possibly the remains of a dwelling, was also discovered. There were no traces of campfires; fire was evidently not yet known.

The overlying bed (1.4–1 million years old) contained, in addition to stone implements, the bones of men who occupied an intermediate position between Homo habilis and Pithecanthropus. The bones were covered by early Acheulean (Chellean) layers, in one of which were found the bones of Oldowan Pithecanthropus, or Chellean man (490,000 years old). The upper beds in Olduvai date from the Acheulean culture.


Ivanova, I. K. Geologicheskii vozrast iskopaemogo cheloveka. Moscow, 1965.
Leakey, M. D. Olduvai Gorge, vol. 3: Excavations in Beds I and II 1960–1963. Cambridge, 1971.
Clark, J. D. The Prehistory of Africa. London, 1970.


References in periodicals archive ?
The new finger fossil is more humanlike than comparably ancient Olduvai hand fossils from Homo habilis, or handy man, and Paranthropus boisei, or Nutcracker Man, the scientists find.
Currently the northern part of the country [from the city of Arusha upwards, covering Mount Kilimanjaro, the Olduvai Gorge, the Ngorogoro Crater, the Serengenti, Lake Victoria, and the other sites in that part of the country], is more active in terms of visitor numbers, and as such the industry there is more developed than in the south of the country.
Never mind that Americans watch nearly 29 million years of TV every single year, yet no one suggests our living rooms are a modern-day Olduvai Gorge.
It begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with an object from the 21st century which represents the world we live in today.
The peaking of this vital resource may well mark a turning point for humankind, and, as per what Richard Duncan termed the "road to Olduvai Gorge," (59) there are distinct prospects for a highly disruptive decline in our near future.
Artefacts under examination include a hand are from the Olduvai gorge in east Africa believed to be more than one million years old; a shadow puppet from Java (pictured below) which accommodates the sensitivities of Hindus and Muslims; and bits of the telegraph cable, manufactured in Birmingham, that was laid across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean to link the Old World to the New for the first time.
From Louis and Mary Leakey's discoveries in the Olduvai Gorge over some 24 years of exploration and excavation (the culmination of which was the 1.
Northern Tanzania's Olduvai Gorge has provided rich evidence of the area's prehistory, including fossil remains of some of humanity's earliest ancestors.
1994): Water flow and the formation of early Pleistocene artifact sites in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.
Reconstruccion de la vegetacion en Africa oriental durante el Plio-Pleistoceno a traves del estudio de fitolitos [La garganta de Olduvai (Tanzania)].
When it began its nearly 15 quintillion (15, followed by 18 zeros)-mile journey Earthward, mastodons and saber-toothed tigers roamed over much of America and prehistoric humans were struggling for existence in what is now the Olduvai Gorge of East Africa.
Information sourced from Addis Ababa presently suggests that no tourist visitors will in the foreseeable future be permitted to access the site in order to protect and preserve the digs until such time that the scientists Ogive the all clearO for tourism to access at least some of the areas where OArdiO was found similar to Kobi Fora at Lake Turkana or Olduvai Gorge at the boundary between the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park.