EAS X377 Field Geology and Paleoanthropology in Tanzania

5185 — Summer 2024

Student running up a steep ridge as others look on
Jackson Njau
Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
Days and Times
June 12 - July 22, 2024
Course Description

During this intensive field course, you will learn the fundamentals of geological processes and develop skills in fossil and archaeological exploration through first-hand field experience. The course emphasizes field observations, data recording and interpretation with the goal of understanding physical and biological processes of site formation and human evolution. You’ll have the opportunity to conduct field experiments such as measuring stratigraphic sections, stone knapping and bone taphonomy. Our students work closely with the instructors and prominent scientists currently doing research at the Olduvai site to develop and carry out independent research projects.

Sites include archaeological sequences in Olduvai Gorge, Laetoli, Ngorongoro volcanic highlands, and rift escarpments. You will visit nearby paleoathropological sites at Laetoli (3.5 million years old hominin footprint site) and Peninj that provide an important contrast to those studied in the Olduvai sites. Field instruction will also take you to Serengeti National Park, where diverse savanna ecosystem provides important modern analogs for understanding the Plio-Pleistocene evolution of African vertebrates (including hominins) as well as evolution of grass plains.

Visit the course website