Paleo-Anthropological Fossils

The shores of Omo river have been found to be rich with hominid fossils from the early Pleistocene era and up to the Pliocene era.

One important find was Australopithecus or “Southern Ape” as named by Professor Raymond Dart. Such Paleontological finds on record to date, would suggest that Africa is the mother of all humanity. Prehistoric humans are evident in all parts of Africa; from the earliest Neanderthaliods to Australopithecus fossils, found throughout East Africa, dating as far back as four million years ago.
In nineteen twenty-four a discovery was made of landmark proportion, which would argue that the Australopithecus was hominid. A skull was found in a limestone quarry near Taung, South Africa The first of its kind, which would later be classified as Australopithecus. The entire dentition was found to be human with a few minor exceptions, however the brain capacity differed. Humans have a capacity of up to 2000 ml, and chimps can contain up to 450 ml. The skull found was measured at 440 ml, it was then that Professor Dart concluded that maybe this was an “intermediate” step between apes and humans.
It would appear that the Omo River Valley would be home to many other species. The Neanderthaloids appear around fifty thousand years b.c., and as they diversified and spread out to the north and east Mediterranean, we see a gradual growth in life and diversity throughout East Africa. They had divided into three major species, and from the Neanderthaloids came the Kanjeran and the Rhodesoid. The Kanjeran would make their home in the Omo Valley for the time being.
By nine thousand B.C. hominids flourished in the Omo River Valley. This abundance of life and progress in the eastern and southern parts of Africa would suggest that the Sahara Desert acted as a divider. Those along the Omo River apparently flourished perhaps due to the tropical climate provided by surrounding water and valleys. F.C. Howell's and Yves Coppen's finds along the Omo River and down to Lake Turkana describe an area rich with hominid fossils. Many varieties were found of the Australopithecus including, the Robustus, and the Boisei. If Africa was the mother of all humanity then the Omo River acted as a main artery. The desertification of the Sahara forced those in the north to become immigrants and adapt to constantly changing environments as they traveled north and then east to Asia. Those who stayed, however, were forced east and south to a land lush with variety. The Omo River and the valley surrounding it would play a major role in the development of hominids as it acted as “Central Terminus” to many diverse groups over the span of time.


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