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Investigating the Origins of Humankind at Oldupuai Gorge

The first man was found there. His name was Zinjanthroupus. It is a famous historical site. Zinjanthroupus skull was like a gorilla’s skull. It was found by two scientists called Mary Leakey, and her husband Louis Leakey.

The gorge is famous as well. It goes right from Ngorongoro to Serengeti National Park. It is 30miles long and 295 feet deep and is shaped like a Y. It shows rich fossil fauna and many hominid remains and items belonging to the one of the oldest stone tool technologies, called Olduwan. The time span of the objects recovered date from 2,100,000 to 15,000 years ago.

At Oldupuai there is still volcanic mud 30,000 years old. Teams coming to the site come from America, Spain and Dar Es Salaam. Oldupuai was inadvertently called Olduvai as the name was not clearly heard by the “wazungu” (white people).

The IISM Humanities department this year has organized an experiential history trip to the site. At this historical site students learnt the about the origin of humankind; they gained and experienced rich information regarding the history, climate and vegetation of the region. For instance, the vegetation changed from Savannah grassland in the Serengeti to the thick and dense forest of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The trip is cross-curricular one where students develop their research, writing, presentation, organizational, art, communication and public speaking skills.

Learning does not only take place in classroom but also in such rich and memorable field experiences as this one.

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