Olduvai Gorge or Oldupai Gorge in Tanzania is one among the foremost important paleoanthropological sites within the world; it’s proven invaluable in furthering understanding of early human evolution.
The Olduvai Gorge or Oldupai Gorge in Tanzania is one among the foremost important paleoanthropological sites within the world; it’s proven invaluable in furthering understanding of early human evolution.
A steep-sided ravine within the Great valley that stretches across East Africa, it’s about 48 km (30 mi) long and is found within the eastern Serengeti Plains within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area within the Arusha Region, about 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Laetoli, another important archaeological site of early human occupation.
The British/Kenyan paleoanthropologist-archeologist team Mary and Leakey established and developed the excavation and research programs at Olduvai Gorge which achieved great advances in human knowledge and world-renowned status.
The gorge takes its name from the Maasai word oldupai which suggests “the place of the wild sisal” because the East African wild sisal (Sansevieria ehrenbergii) grows abundantly throughout the gorge area. Twenty-five kilometers downstream of Lake Ndutu and Lake Masek, the gorge cuts into Pleistocene lake bottom sediments up to a depth of 90 m. A side gorge, originating from Lemagrut Mountain, joins the most gorge 8 km from the mouth.
This side gorge follows the shoreline of a prehistoric lake, rich in fossils and early man sites. Periodic flows of volcanic ash from Olmoti and Kerimasi helped to make sure the preservation of the fossils within the gorge.
The site is critical in showing the increasing developmental and social complexities within the earliest humans, or hominins largely revealed within the production and use of stone tools. before tools, evidence of scavenging and hunting are often noted—highlighted by the presence of gnaw marks that predate cut marks—and of the ratio of meat versus material within the early hominin diet.
The collecting of tools and animal remains during a centralized area is evidence of developing social interaction and communal activity. of these factors indicate a rise in cognitive capacities at the start of the amount of hominids transitioning to hominin—that is, to human—form, and behavior.
Homo habilis, probably the primary early human species, occupied Olduvai Gorge approximately 1.9 million years ago (mya); then came an up to date australopithecine, Paranthropus boisei, 1.8 mya, followed by Homo erectus, 1.2 mya. Our species Homo sapiens, which is estimated to possess emerged roughly 300,000 years ago, is dated to possess occupied the location 17,000 years ago.