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 hominid fossils excavated by Louis Leakey and his wife, Mary Leakey, as well as by later researchers. Examples of at least three species of hominids have been found at Olduvai, including Australopithecusboisei,Homo habilis, and Homo erectus. In addition, the two earliest stone tool traditions, Oldowan and Acheulian (see Paleolithic period), have been found along with fossil remains. Both the fossils and the tools have been important lines of evidence in understanding human evolution. Recent research in Olduvai has centered on excavated camp sites addressing problems involving the social and dietary adaptations of early hominids.

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Olduvai Gorge Site in n Tanzania where remains of primitive humans have been found. Louis Leakey uncovered four layers of remains dating from c.2 million years ago to c.15,000 years ago. In 1964, he announced the discovery of Homo habilis, whom he believed to have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. The gorge, which is 40km (25mi) long and 100m (320ft) deep, runs through the Serengeti Plain.

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Olduvai Gorge a gorge in northern Tanzania, in which the exposed strata contain numerous fossils (especially hominids) spanning the full range of the Pleistocene period.