Olorgesailie

Name ID 1246

See also

Dente, Jenny Mary Douglas Nicol Leakey 1913-1996
Page Number: 06
Extract Date: 1947

Olorgesailie

One of the most exciting of these sites was Olorgesailie, located south of Nairobi. One area of this site displayed such a rich collection of handaxe artifacts that Mary and Louis felt it would be a shame to disturb it even to excavate it; Mary remembers the tools looking "as if they had only just been abandoned by their makers." In 1947, this untouched spot was made into an open-air museum. In the areas that the Leakeys did decide to excavate, they found not only hundreds of stone tools, but also what they believed to be "living floors," or actual campsites left by Acheulean (handaxe culture) hunters; however, these were later found to be merely accumulations of tools in ancient stream channels. For these digs, the Leakeys employed labor teams of Italian prisoners of war and uncovered many artifacts dated as much as 900,000 years old. Still, Mary became disappointed with the site, as in the next 10 years it proved nearly impossible to correlate the trenches she uncovered, connecting them through time; partly because of this, she never published reports on Olorgesailie.

Extract ID: 3310
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