Leakey Family

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  • Topic: Louis Leakey, Homo habilis, Richard Leakey
  • Pages : 3 (1085 words )
  • Download(s) : 37
  • Published : June 1, 2007
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Paleoanthropology can be defined as the study of the chronology, remains, physical structure and habitats of early hominids. The fields of anthropology and paleoanthropology have been dominated by one family name since the 1930's, the Leaky family. Three generations of the Leakey family have been piecing together the story of our origins for over six decades. The patriarch of the family is Louis S.B. Leakey who was a paleontologist, an archaeologist and an anthropologist. He was born in Kenya in 1903 where he lived with his parents among Kenya's largest tribe. He attended college at the University of Cambridge and in 1924 during a break from his studies due to an injury; he went on an archeological expedition to Africa and was hooked. He led four fossil hunting expeditions there. He returned to Cambridge and completed his degree in both Archaeology and Anthropology in 1926. During a fellowship at St. John's College he published his first book, The Stone Age Cultures of Kenya Colony, which was about his extensive fieldwork in Africa during his expeditions. With the notoriety that he was receiving, Louis obtained a grant and went to Olduvai Gorge in 1931. He was determined to prove his theory that Africa was where our ancestors originated. He spent his first twenty years there without any significant findings, but did find many fossils and Stone Age tools. Louis married Mary Nicol in 1937 and she shared a mutual desire with him to find the origins of man. Mary Leakey was born Mary Douglas Nicol in London in 1913. From a very young age she traveled with her parents and was exposed to many prehistoric sites. These sites made her very interested in pursuing a career in Geology and Archaeology. When she met Louis she had already become an expert at illustrating the finds at archaeological digs at the age of twenty. They had three sons: Jonathan in 1940, Richard in 1944, and Philip in 1948. During the Leakey's expeditions Mary discovered...
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