Important hominid find in the Western Olduvai gorge


Excavation in the previously little-explored western portion of Olduvai Gorge indicates that hominid land use of the eastern paleobasin extended at least episodically to the west. Finds included a dentally complete Homo maxilla (OH 65) with lower face, Oldowan stone artifacts, and butchery-marked bones dated to be between 1.84 and 1.79 million years old. The hominid shows strong affinities to the KNM ER 1470 cranium from Kenya (Homo rudolfensis), a morphotype previously unrecognized at Olduvai. ER 1470 and OH 65 can be accommodated in the H. habilis holotype, casting doubt on H. rudolfensis as a biologically valid taxon.

Abstract of Blumenschine et al, Science 299, 1217 - 1221