General Information

Site Name: Olduvai Gorge

Synonym Name(s): Oldovai, Oldupai Gorge

Site Type: cave

More Info to Site Type:

Discovery Year: before 1950

First Description:

Chronological Abstract: Millions of years ago, the site was that of a large lake, the shores of which were covered with successive deposits of volcanic ash. Around 500 000 years ago seismic activity diverted a nearby stream which began to cut down into the sediments, revealing seven main layers in the walls of the gorge.



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Country: Tanzania

General Location Description: In the eastern Serengeti Plains, Northern Tanzania.


Latitude (WGS84): 2.983° S

Longitude (WGS84): 35.35° E


GIS Precision: GPS Site coordinates

Other Coordinates:


Linked Files / Pages

Collection Item(s):

Bibliography: Leakey 1971

Multimedia Files:

Linked Pages:
Tanzania - Australopithecus
Tanzania - Homo erectus or ergaster


Additional Content

Bed I, has produced evidence of campsites and living floors along with stone tools made of flakes from local basalt and quartz dating about 2.6 million years ago. The Olduvai Gorge bears the distinction of having the oldest known evidence of elephant consumption, attributed to Homo ergaster around 1.8 million years ago.
Human fossils: Australopithecus/Paranthropus boisei OH 5
Bed II, pebble tools begin to be replaced by more sophisticated handaxes of the Acheulean industry and made by Homo ergaster. This layer dates to around 1.5 million years ago.
Beds III and IV have produced Acheulean tools and fossil bones from more than 600 000 years ago.
Masek Beds (600 000 to 400 000 years ago)
Naisiusiu Beds (22 000 to 15 000 years ago)


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