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Definition of OLDUVAI GORGE
canyon Tanzania in N mainland SE of Serengeti Plain; contains fossil beds
Archaeological site on the eastern Serengeti Plain, northern Tanzania. It is a steep-sided ravine about 30 mi (48 km) long and 295 ft (90 m) deep. Deposits exposed in the sides of the gorge cover a time span from c. 2,100,000 to 15,000 years ago and have yielded the remains of more than 50 hominins as well as the most complete sequence of stone tool industries. The site first came to public notice in 1959 when Louis and Mary Leakey (seeLeakey family) uncovered the first specimens of Paranthropus, a hominin related to Australopithecus. Remains of Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and Homo sapiens have since been found. These discoveries have strengthened the argument that the human lineage originated in Africa. See alsostone tool industry; Oldowan industry.