Oldupai Gorge is an archaeological site in Tanzania that holds the earliest evidence of the existence of human ancestors. Paleoanthropologists have found hundreds of fossilized bones and stone tools in the area dating back millions of years, leading them to conclude that humans evolved in Africa.
Oldupai gorge (originally misnamed Olduvai)is a maasai word for a wild sisal plant that grows in the area.It the most archaeological site in East Africa, and has become an essential visit for the travelers to Ngorongoro and Serengeti.The steep ravine is about 48.2 km long and 90 meters deep, not quite large enough to classified as a canyon.A river cuts through several layers to form four individual beds, with the oldest estimated at about 2 million years old.
At Laetoli, west of Ngorongoro crater, hominid footprints are preserved in volcanic rock 3.6 million years old and represent some of the earliest signs of mankind in the world.Three separatetracks of a small-brained upright walking early hominid.Australopithecus afarensis,a creature about 1.2 to 1.4 meters high, were found.Imprints of these are displayed in the Oldupai Gorge museum.
More advanced descendants of Laetolis’s hominids were found further north, buried in the layers of the 100 meters deep oldupai gorge. Excavations, mainly by the archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey, yielded four different kinds of hominid, showing a gradual increase in brain size and in the complexity of their stone tools.The first skull of Zinjanthropus ,commonly known as “Nutcracker man”who lived about 1.75 million years ago, this made it the oldest hominin discovered to that point.The most important find includes Homo habilis, Zinjanthropus and Laetoli footprints.