Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Western Olduvai Gorge

Archaeological site(s) found in 1911 on the Serengeti plain in northern Tanzania, Africa, dating to 1.85 mya (Tuff 1B, Ar/Ar). The western portion of the gorge is a 5 km extension of the main channel (see Olduvai Gorge), and is situated between the perennial and maximum shorelines of paleo-Lake Olduvai, i.e. the paleolake margin zone, just north of Naisiusiu Hill. The fossiliferous sediments overlie Tuff 1B. Remains of freshwater clams, fish, and reptiles suggest that the locality was a stream incised into the western margin. Fossils of terrestrial mammalian herbivores grazed on C4 vegetation interspersed with a gallery woodland. Over 200 Oldowan core tools excavated from the channel were fashioned from local quartzite but three lava tools were apparently imported from over 15 km distant, beyond the main channel of the gorge to the southeast. The first hominid, OH 65, was recovered from the region in 1995.

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