Dr Charles Musiba, University Colorado Denver

Current research and conservation efforts at Laetoli paleoanthropological site in northern Tanzania: Where do we stand to-date?

5:00pm - 6:00pm / Thursday 11th February 2021
Type: Webinar / Category: Department / Series: Evolutionary Archaeology Seminar Series
  • Admission: Free, however registration is required. To register please email: lucy.timbrell@liverpool.ac.uk
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Cultural World Heritage Sites all over the world are increasingly playing a major role in shaping the community socioeconomic, education, stewardship, preservation, conservation and sustainable use of these sites. Many African countries now recognize that apart from constructing national and socio-cultural identities, cultural World Heritage Sites have the potential to propel the economic growth for communities surround these sites. If properly managed, these sites have the capacity of becoming educational centers of excellence. For many years, the management of cultural heritage sites and the designation of some of them as World Heritage Sites in Africa were based on European models and ideas of conservation that disconnected many African local communities from their cultural heritage sites. As a result, local African communities living near these sites were not involved in their conservation and management. Laetoli paleoanthropological site serves as a best example, where not only local communities but also local experts were totally ignored when the 1995-96 conservation efforts to rescue the hominin Site G trail were implemented; as a result the efforts produced unintended consequences that led to a complete deterioration of the prints. Here I present the current research and conservation efforts at Laetoli hominin Site G based on the 2011 throughout 2018 systematic research and physical observations of the footprints tuff 7 at the northern- and southern ends of the G trail where tuff discoloration and sediment dissolution has decreased the scientific value of the prints. Additionally, I will also discuss some conservation efforts being carried out by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority to develop Laetoli World Heritage Site as a research, educational, cultural and tourism center accessible to all. Furthermore I will share with you some preliminary results from continued research and excavation at Laetoli hominin footprints Sites G and S and their implications for understanding hominin bipedality at Laetoli 3.6 million years ago.

To register please contact: lucy.timbrell@liverpool.ac.uk