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Tanzania Archaeology

Olduvai Gorge

Olduvai Gorge is very famous for the remains of the earliest humans to exist. Over 400 fragments of the skull Australopithecus- Zinjanthropus Boisei were found by a German professor Katurinkle, an entomologist who stumbled across it in 1911, but it was only in 1959 when Mary Leakey uncovered a 1.75 million year old australopithecus jawbone. This was the first conclusive evidence that hominids had existed for over a million years and that they had evolved in Africa.


Also about 150 species of prehistoric animal remains of mammals were identified. Olduvai Gorge is 3km from the main Ngorongoro-Serengeti road. You may only explore the diggings with a guide, and there is an excellent site museum. The Museum holds displays of copies of some of the finds as well as pictures of what life was like for Olduvai Gorge's earliest inhabitants.

Isimila Stone Age site

About 20 km (12 miles) south of Iringa on the main road to Mbeya is a signposted turning to the Isimila Stone Age site. Following the road for 1 km (half a mile), you will come to the site's office. Some of the richest finds of Stone Age tools yet known may have been exposed at Isimila. The site was discovered in 1951 by D.A. Maclennan of the St.Peters School in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Stone Age man is believed to have camped along the

Lake Shore and the many streams, where he gathered water and hunted animals as they came to drink.It is here that he worked diligently, fashioning his tools proof of which is not only the multitude of tools found in the area, but also the blocks, cobbles and boulders that served as part of his production process. Also found are the flakes chipped off his tools in this prehistoric factory. The stone from which the tools were fashioned was mainly granite and guartzite. Many fossilized bones have also been found in the area, among them those of elephant and a mammal related to our modern-day giraffe, but having a much shorter neck, Sivatherium. Still found in the Korongo are the fossilized remains of an extinct hippo, H.gorgops, which had unusual periscope-like projections.

Kondoa Rock Paintings

Location: Situated halfway between Dodoma and Arusha (to the north) lies the quite village of Kolo.

Description: Nestled in the hillsides around Kolo are several sites that are ancient visual reminders of the past. The region has many rock shelters with cave paintings, but the Kolo paintings are by far the best examples and are more easily accessible.

Thought to be created by Khoisan-speaking people, the style corresponds with the Aurignacian paintings (believed to belong to a flint culture that existed during the palaeolithic period in Europe) found in France. Dating back to 3400 BC, these extraordinary rock paintings depict the animals and customs of the people at the time; they represent fashion, dancing ceremonies, wildlife and hunting scenes. Unfortunately, the natural elements are having an adverse effect on many of the paintings; however, they retain an incredible charm and an important insight into the past.

Last Updated on Monday 23rd November 2009

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