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Early Man in East Africa

Nature volume 131, pages 462463 (01 April 1933) | Download Citation



WHILE it is no longer possible on the latest interpretation of the evidence to accept the very high antiquity of Oldoway man, there appears elsewhere in this issue of NATURE (p. 477) a series of reports on the further evidence collected by Dr. Leakey in the spring of last year (not “autumn” as stated inadvertently in our note last week) which points to the early appearance of Homo sapiens in East Africa. We publish in full the reports of four committees, each dealing with one aspect of the evidence, presented to, and adopted by, the Royal Anthropological Institute's conference at Cambridge. The material which the committees had before them was derived from deposits at Kanjera and Kanam, two sites, about three miles apart, near Kendu, at the northeast of Victoria Nyanza, an area of old lake-beds,well-known for its fossiliferous deposits. It comprised a part of a femur and fragments of human skulls of three individuals from Kanjera, of which one group formed a skull-cap, and a second permitted a reconstruction of the skull, and of a small fragment of human mandible from Kanam, fossil animal remains, including a considerable proportion (which has been put so high as fifty per cent) of specimens belonging to extinct forms, and two stone industries, one a pebble industry and the other Chellean. It is to be noted that at Kanjera, while the human bones comprising two groups had been washed out by the rains, two fragments of the third group were found in situ in association with fossil animal remains and Chellean tools. Further, the Kanam fragment of mandible was found not far from a pre-Chellean stone implement.

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