• Name: Paul McLerran
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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Virtual Field School at Olorgesaillie, Kenya

Out of the 2004 summer Field Camp in Olorgesaillie, Kenya, Dr. Rick Potts of the Smithsonian Human Origins Program provides you with the next best thing to actually being there. He has posted his daily written dispatches from his Field Notebook on the Internet, recapping each day of the 2004 Summer Field School from June 22 to August 18. In effect, it is a virtual field school experience. In addition to making you feel like you are there, he imparts a wealth of knowledge about what it is like to do and learn on a paleoanthropological research expedition. This is by far the best "virtual field school" I have ever experienced.

What this expedition is about: The objective of the research is to determine how early hominids (humans) adjusted to environmental change in eastern Africa over time. In the process, they will hopefully find answers to who made the ancient, nearly one million year old stone implements found in such abundance at Olorgesaillie, and how these ancient toolmakers lived.

If you are interested in experiencing this yourself, go to www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigins/aop/olorg2004/dispatch. It's a free education and, as I mentioned above, almost like being there.


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