• Name: Paul McLerran
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Monday, January 10, 2005

Dig Spotlight: Back to Olduvai to Work Against Time

Tanzania, East Africa -- Olduvai Gorge. This is that deep geological escarpment where Louis and Mary Leakey made history with their groundbreaking fossil discoveries that set the clock back on the early human timescale. Discoveries are once again being made there as Dr. Fidelis Masao of the Open University of Tanzania leads an effort to recover as much of the remaining fossil record as possible before erosion washes it away from humanity's grasp. Working against time and the elements, his staff and teams of Earthwatch volunteers are working feverishly to salvage what is left, making new discoveries along the way, such as two hominid (early human species) teeth and a hominid skull fragment, as well as the complete remains of a million-year-old elephant. This is exciting stuff, and there is more to come. If you are interested in joining the effort, go to www.earthwatch.org/expeditions/masao.html and read more about it. In addition, an excellent volunteer account can be found at www.episcopalhs.org/~jmm/Olduvai.


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