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Olduvai Gorge

Olduvai Gorge

Oluduvai Gorge was made famous by the excavation work carried out by Louis and Mary Leakey in the 1950s, and their later discovery of Australopithecus boisei, “the nutcracker man”. The specimen is believed to be 1.7 million years old, and a crucial link in understanding the development of early humans. This groundbreaking discovery, among several others in the field of paleoanthropology, earnt the site the moniker “The Cradle of Mankind”. The gorge itself is named for the Maasai word for wild sisal, “oldupaai”. The first European to discover the site was German entomologist Professor Kattwinkel, who was actually more interested in the butterflies of the area. Fortuitously, he found fossil remains and revealed the site’s potential for archeological excavation, which continues to this day.