Article

Louis Leakey

Matthew R. Goodrum

in Anthropology

ISBN: 9780199766567
Published online April 2014 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199766567-0023
Louis Leakey

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Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey (b. 1903–d. 1972) became a prominent paleoanthropologist during the mid-20th century primarily as a result of his excavations at Olduvai Gorge and other sites in East Africa. Leakey discovered the fossil remains of several new hominid species—most importantly Australopithecus (Zinjanthropus) boisei and Homo Habilis—as well as stone artifacts from the Stone Age, and thus made significant contributions to the understanding of primate evolution in Africa. Leakey’s research, which was conducted in close collaboration with his wife Mary (Nicol) Leakey, helped to shift the opinions of the paleoanthropological community to the idea that the earliest phases of human evolution occurred in Africa and therefore the fossil remains of the earliest human ancestors would be found in Africa. Leakey also helped to create institutions dedicated to paleoanthropological research in Africa and did much to promote that research.

Article.  13351 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology ; Human Evolution ; Medical Anthropology ; Physical Anthropology ; Social and Cultural Anthropology

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