Leakey Family

Three generations of the Leakey Family devote(d) themselves to the study of the origins of humans. They are Louis, Mary, Richard, Meave and Louise Leakey.

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Fossil Hominid Sites Specimens were collected from the breccias at Kromdaai and sent to London for examination, but the bones were not extracted from them for over sixty years, when they were “rediscovered” by L S B Leakey. (AB ev)
Kondoa The Leakey family, with the financial support of Norwegian Aid, organised the construction of a small rock art visitor centre at Kolo in the 1970s. Mary Leakey was the main specialist there
Lake Turkana Lake Turkana Koobi Fora research involved Richard and is now headed by Meave and Louise Leakey.
Lower Valley of the Omo Richard Leakey was invited by Haile Selassie to search for fossils there (1967).
Mount Kenya Gray Leakey, a cousin of Louis Leakey, was taken captive and led into the forests of Mount Kenya, high up on the mountain, where "he was buried alive and upside down in deep red soil" (during the Mau Mau insurgency 1952-1960)
Ngorongoro Olduvai in the Ngorongoro conservation area was also famously "discovered" by Mary and Richard.
Virunga National Park Louise Leakey is married to Emmanuel de Merode, director of the Virunga National Park
Vézère Valley Mary Leakey (nee Nicol)- "In 1925, when Mary was twelve, the Nicols stayed at Les Eyzies at a time when Elie Peyrony was excavating one of the caves there. Peyrony did not understand the significance of much of what he found, and was not excavating scientifically during that early stage of archaeology. Mary received permission to go through his dump. It was there that her interest in prehistory was sparked. She started a collection of points, scrapers, and blades from the dump and developed her first system of classification." (Wiki)


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