Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mary Leakey's 100th Birthday

Mary Leakey (6 February 1913 – 9 December 1996) was a British archaeologist and anthropologist, who discovered the first fossilized Proconsul skull, an extinct ape now believed to be ancestral to humans, and also discovered the robust Zinjanthropus skull at Olduvai Gorge. For much of her career she worked together with her husband, Louis Leakey, in Olduvai Gorge, uncovering the tools and fossils of ancient hominines. She developed a system for classifying the stone tools found at Olduvai. She also discovered the Laetoli footprints.

She had no formal education in archaeology or paleontology, but Leakey’s eye and passion guided her to many significant finds. (
Over her lifetime Mary Douglas Nicol Leakey has been the recipient of numerous awards. Her Honorary degrees include: D. of Science, University of Witwatersrand(68), D. of Science Michigan University(80), D. of Social Science Yale (76), D. of Litt Oxford(81).

Photo of reproduction of her Paranthropus boisei skull (supposedly 2 to 3 million years old):
Photo of modern gorilla skull:

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