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Thursday, June 02, 2005

In the Field: The Koobi Fora Research Project

As noted in a previous posting, the Koobi Fora Research Project has fielded its operations and the team is now fully engaged in excavating and surveying the rich fossil exposures near the eastern shore of Lake Turkana. Led by Meave and Louise Leakey (both related to the famous scientists, Mary and Louis Leakey), the long-term project holds the promise of adding significantly to piecing together the puzzle of human origins. To give you a taste of what is happening, here is a full "reprint" of the first Dispatch from the field. There are other, more recent dispatches, all of which are written personally by Louise Leakey herself:

DISPATCH 01: Preparing to Leave

NAIROBI, Kenya -- We have received our grant for the next three months of field work from the National Geographic Society – Missions Program Special Projects. We were then able to make necessary purchases for the field. The lists of supplies were left with the supermarket and members of the team went in different directions in pursuit of hardware, plastic water drums, gasoline and food stuffs The team left in one landcruiser and the heavily laden truck. They had a burst tyre and three flats on the lorry all of which they had to fix in the heat of the day miles from any garage. A U bolt broke on the land cruiser and they were able to strap the spring together to get them in to camp.Someone broke into the back of the truck at Loyengelani at night and made off with some food stuffs- fortunately nothing else went missing. They arrived at Koobi Fora as I landed in the plane. This year I have company, my five month old daughter is with me! Meave is going to drive north next week with Patrick Gathogo the geologist so they can do some work at the south of the lake on their way up. We are going to get the camps set up so we can get to work as soon as possible.

See the website for more.


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