Polish archaeologists will conduct research in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Their goal will be to search for the remains of early humans and traces of their lives. However, conducting research in this area is very challenging due to poor infrastructure and abundance of wild animals.
Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is the largest protected area in the world, located in the highlands between Lake Victoria and the western edge of the Great Rift Valley. This land is located only a few tens of kilometers from the Olduvai Gorge, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, where traces of the presence of humans and their ancestors have been found dating back to 2.6-1.7 million years.
Although interest in the region has waned somewhat among archaeologists, the Serengeti areas still hold answers to many questions about humanity’s origins. Now they will be studied by scientists from the University of Wroclaw.
Very interesting area
Initial archaeological work in the Serengeti was carried out about 40 years ago under the supervision of the American researcher Prof. John Power and 20 years ago by Prof. Audax mapula. It indicates the enormous scientific potential of the Serengeti, especially with regard to the Paleolithic (earlier Stone Age). In addition to the rich collections of stone monuments, the sites abound with perfectly preserved mineral bone remains.
– This is still a very interesting area. Dr. Happ said the world of science is eagerly awaiting new data from this place, obtained using modern methods, such as isotope analysis. Marta Osypińska of the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Wrocław.
“Home of Man”
As the researchers explained, the first step would be to develop a professional map of the archaeological sites in the Serengeti – so far, only archaeologists working there have information about the sites, monuments and their chronology. All the most important points will be included on a topographic map, created using satellite and drone instruments.
In August and September 2024, researchers plan to develop a detailed map of the southern part of the park and then gradually expand this area. The next step will be their excavations. The researchers want to focus on the Late and Middle Stone Ages. This is the time when anatomically modern humans appear, as well as the period of acquisition of skills: making tools from raw materials, using fire, decorating objects, and building houses.
– All the features that allowed us to expand successfully around the world were acquired by humans in the savannas of East Africa. We consider these savannas, including the Serengeti, to be the cradle of man. The place where our latest development took place – explained Osypińska.
Scientists hope that they will be able to find the remains of early humans, as well as the remains of animals, because part of their research will also be the history of the formation of the savannah fauna and the earliest moments of our culture and skills.
Working “with the help” of Leo
Osypińska stressed that archaeological research in the Serengeti requires a very logistical effort. There is no permanent infrastructure there. It is also the biologically richest region in our world, which means working among herds of antelope numbering in the millions, transporting elephant families and among the ubiquitous predators: hyenas, leopards and, above all, lions.
– Archaeological work should be carried out with the assistance of park rangers, with the vehicle parked closely and with the doors always wide open and the key in the ignition. In the event of Assad’s unannounced visit, the only salvation would be to quickly escape to the car. The researcher added that such work will certainly be a challenge, and we will have to learn all this and develop methods that allow us to work while respecting nature.
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