Olduvai Gorge


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Olduvai Gorge

(ōl`dəwā', –vā'), a feature of the E African Rift Valley in Tanzania. Erosional processes have exposed geological strata in the gorge dating to the lower Pleistocene epoch, about 1.8 million to 600,000 years ago. The site was made famous by the numerous hominin fossils excavated by Louis LeakeyLeakey, Louis Seymour Bazett
, 1903–72, British archaeologist and anthropologist of E Africa, b. Kabete, Kenya; father of Richard Leakey. His fossil discoveries in E Africa demonstrated that humans were far older than had previously been suspected.
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 and his wife, Mary LeakeyLeakey, Mary Douglas,
1913–96, British archaeologist, b. London as Mary Douglas Nicol; wife of Louis Leakey and mother of Richard Leakey. She had little formal education, but a fascination with archaeology led to her supervising her first dig in England in 1934.
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, as well as by later researchers. Examples of at least three species of hominins have been found at Olduvai, including AustralopithecusAustralopithecus
, an extinct hominin genus found in Africa between about 4 and 1 million years ago. At least seven species of australopithecines are now generally recognized, including Australopithecus afarensis, A. africanus, A. bahrelghazali, A.
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 boisei, Homo habilis, and Homo erectusHomo erectus
, extinct hominin living between 1.6 million and 250,000 years ago. Homo erectus is thought to have evolved in Africa from H. habilis, the first member of the genus Homo. African forms of H.
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. In addition, the two earliest stone tool traditions, Oldowan and Acheulian (see Paleolithic periodPaleolithic period
or Old Stone Age,
the earliest period of human development and the longest phase of mankind's history. It is approximately coextensive with the Pleistocene geologic epoch, beginning about 2 million years ago and ending in various places between
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), have been found along with fossil remains. Both the fossils and the tools have been important lines of evidence in understanding human evolutionhuman evolution,
theory of the origins of the human species, Homo sapiens. Modern understanding of human origins is derived largely from the findings of paleontology, anthropology, and genetics, and involves the process of natural selection (see Darwinism).
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. Recent research in Olduvai has centered on excavated camp sites addressing problems involving the social and dietary adaptations of early hominins.

Olduvai Gorge

a gorge in N Tanzania, north of the Ngorongoro Crater: fossil evidence of early man and other closely related species, together with artefacts
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
1997): Experimental determinations of carcass processing by Plio-Pleistocene hominids and carnivores at FLK (Zinjanthropus), Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.
In Tanzania, travelers will be able to visit the Olduvai Gorge, the OCradle of MankindO and Laetoli Footprints, where the Leakeys discovered the first humanoid skull 50 years ago.
Olduvai Gorge Volume 5: Excavations in beds III, IV and the Masek Beds 1968-1971: 254-98.
ZANZIBAR: Somak (0208 423 3000) offers five nights' full-board on a four-star Sopa Serengeti Safari from pounds 1395 in April/May 2009, incl local Masai village, Tarangire and Serengeti Nat Parks, Ngorongoro and Olduvai Gorge.
The 31-day overland tour goes right to the heart of the animal kingdom, with three days in Kenya's Masai Mara Game Reserve; followed by the Serengeti, the Olduvai Gorge and the Ngorongoro Crater.
These exquisite objects ( a chopping tool and two hand axes ( come from Olduvai Gorge, now in Tanzania.
Boyd Britton's comparison with Olduvai Gorge is invalid, since no one is known to have invaded it and exiled its inhabitants, and no one but the writer wants to return there.
Richard Duncan, The Peak of World Oil Production and the Road to the Olduvai Gorge, http://www.
Another awesome sight, Olduvai Gorge, a canyon formed by volcanic deposits, features a gigantic, oval-shaped red rock which was the inspiration for Simba's home, Pride Rock.
His Olduvai Theory is named after the Olduvai Gorge in east Africa where the earliest Stone Age ancestors of humans have been found.
Equipped with high-powered digital cameras and other accessories Olympus donated, the team shot photographs in locations ranging from Tanzania's Olduvai Gorge to the teeming bazaars of Dakar in Senegal.