Prehistoric Site is situated 65 km (40 mi)
South of Nairobi in Kenya. It is famous archaeological site of ancient human
settlements that date back to the Lower Palaeolithic Period (over 300,000
years ago). Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site
is situated not far from
Lake Magadi in the floor of the Eastern Rift Valley. The village
existed here 600,000- 900,000 years ago on a shore of a dried up
lake. Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site is particularly famous for
numerous Acheulean (ancient culture) tools and weapons. Additionally
archaeologists discovered bones of several species of animals that
were butchered and eaten by residents of the site. Apparently humans
liked a very diverse diet. They ate baboons, elephants, zebras,
hippos, various species of fish and etc.
Ironically with all
that diversity of animal bones scientists were able to find only one
bone of Homo erectus in 2003. It is possible that the village in Olorgesailie
Prehistoric Site belonged to these human specie or maybe he came to
live with other hominids. Further archaeological digs is required to
make a definitive conclusion. It is possible that ancient people
used to leave their dead in the open grasslands for animals to
consume the remains of the dead one or maybe they were buried on the
cemetery that is yet to be discovered.
History of Archaeology on Olorgesailie Prehistoric
Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site was discovered
accidentally in 1919 by the British geologist John Walter Gregory.
He recorded the location and described the site, but he didn't
attempt to start significant digs in the area. Archaeological digs
have resumed under supervision of British archaeologists Louis and
Mary Leakey in 1943 during years of World War II. They were assisted
by Italian prisoners of war. Archaeological digs in Olorgesailie
Prehistoric Site resumed in 1960's, 1980's and in the 2000's.