After successful completion of the
project’s phase I drilling (2014),
phase II seismic experiments (2015-
2017), and phase III, core sampling
at the NSF-funded National Lacus-
trine Core facility at the University
of Minnesota (2015-2017), OGCP
is now in phase IV of its research
program. Our goal here is to tie the
core stratigraphy to outcrop in or-
der to examine whether times of
significant environmental change
correspond to times of significant
technological or biological change
(observed in outcrop-derived fos-
sils and artifacts) during Bed I (~2
Ma), Lower Bed II–Upper Bed II
transition (~1.7 Ma), Bed III during
the Pleistocene Revolution (~1 Ma),
and Masek Beds (~0.4 Ma). We be-
gan this exercise by correlating the
volcanic ash layers and paleoenvi-
ronmental proxies archived in cores
to the archaeological-bearing units
in the outcrop. To this end, a series
of excavations was initiated at Old-
uvai Gorge in the summers of 2016
and 2017 in order to expose fresh
sections and recover more fossils
and stone artifact data. The excava-
tions targeted geological intervals
and sites that document key evo-
lutionary landmarks in the history
of our ancestors such as the transi-
tion from Homo habilis to H. erectus
and subsequently to anatomically
modern H. sapiens, the extinction
of early Homo and Australopithe-
cine hominins, and the first human
migration out of Africa.

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