Tanzania
Olduvai Gorge

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  • Day442

    Make no bones about it

    January 12, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Yes, I know: we've seen it before in "2001: A Space Odyssey". Oldupai is the location of the first monolith in Arthur C. Clarke’s masterpiece. It is over 30 miles long and 295 feet deep. Oldupai is the Maasai word for the wild sisal plant Sansevieria ehrenbergii, shown at the bottom of the photo.
    Five different layers of rock can be seen quite clearly, and different types of hominoid have been found in each. Australopithecus Zinjanthropus (Boisei), Australopithecus Afarensis (like Lucy) , Homo Habilis, Homo Sapiens and Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
    When around 1930 the Leakeys discovered the remains of a 1.8 million year old skeleton of Australopithecus, (now renamed Paranthropus,) boisei, he became known as the Nutcracker Man, why I cannot tell. But his significance as one of the distinct links in the human evolutionary chain has ensured that this site has been excavated and researched since then, revealing an abundance of fossils spanning 5 million years and also a huge collection of stone tools, known as Oldowan, whose dispersion around the world has provided many clues to our species evolution.
    A few years later, Mrs L stumbled across a complete set of footprints preserved in ash estimated to be over 3.7 million years old. They are believed to have belonged to our ancestor Australopithecus afarensis, proving that hominid species walked on two legs during the Pliocene era, some 3.7 million years ago. They are still there, at Laetoli, but apparently covered from view: these are plaster casts.
    My loquacious guide insisted I photograph this bone left conveniently for tourists to photograph. But in fact, wherever you wander there are bone fragments to be found. Paleoecologists have determined that there was a spring and nearby forest nearby, explaining the abundance of eaten animal bones and explaining why it was such a good factory site.
    Alas, most of the museum displays are resin casts of the originals which appear to be kept in museums around the world. For their own protection of course. That does not take away from the experience of walking through such a significant place in the human story.
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    Rose Siva

    Steps of time...

    1/18/20Reply
    Tony Hammond

    Nope this is definitely a bone of contention! https://creation.com/australopithecus-and-homo-…

    1/18/20Reply
     
  • Day442

    Critters at large

    January 12, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    We didn't descend into the crater but skirted the side and travelled along the road to the Leakey Museum over the plains that eventually become the Serengeti Park.
    Our passage was interrupted by herds of beasts roaming around. Zebras munching contentedly by the roadside and giraffes blocking the road. Mr. Thompson appears to have abandoned his gazelles who seemed happy with their freedom. And of course, the stupid wildebeest who when startled form columns to canter away.Read more

    Tony Hammond

    It looks like you've been sticking your neck out again Mbekwi....

    1/18/20Reply
     

You might also know this place by the following names:

Olduwai Gorge, Olduvai-Schlucht, Olduvai Gorge, Olduvai, Olduvain rotko, Gorges d'Olduvai, olduwai, Olduvai-szurdok, Gola di Olduvai, オルドヴァイ, Olduvaikloof, Garganta de Olduvai, Олдувай