Topic ID #30402 - posted 12/17/2013 3:40 PM

Tanzania- Olduvai Field School





Dates: July 09 - August 13, 2014

Project Description: The transition from the earliest human culture, the Oldowan, to the more sophisticated Acheulean, is one of the most significant events in the evolution of human technology. Despite the importance of this technological transition, little is known about the biological and cultural evolutionary mechanisms underlying it.  Traditionally, this major cultural shift has been linked with the emergence of Homo erectus, a species defined by its much larger brain and body size, while the transformation from Oldowan simple core-and-flake technology to Acheulean handaxes was viewed as a steady progression rather than a revolutionary change.  However, these assumptions are not grounded in the current available evidence, but rooted in cultural-history paradigms that are only now being tested. The Olduvai Gorge Archaeology Field School will collect fresh data on the emergence of the Acheulean at Olduvai and contribute to ongoing research being conducted by an international multidisciplinary team of researchers, the Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP). Syllabus:

Academic Credits: Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through Connecticut College.

Total Cost: $6,965; includes tuition, cost of credit units, and room & board.

Accommodations Students will camp at the historical field compound built by Mary Leakey on the rim of the gorge, at walking distance from many of the sites in Olduvai Gorge.  This is a rustic but comfortable camp and students will share facilities with the entire research team. There is no running water at camp so students are encouraged to bring solar shower bags for personal use. Limited power is available for charging electronic devices, such as flashlights, phones, and computers. There are separate outhouse facilities for men and women that are cleaned daily by the project’s support staff.

Meals: All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food in the tradition of local cousin.  Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are difficult to maintain in this remote location. Vegetarian may attend but will find options fairly limited.

Travel Information: Students will be expected to arrange their own travel to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) in Tanzania.  Flights usually have a short layover in Europe and/or Africa and are less costly when purchased well in advance. Upon arrival to Kilimanjaro International Airport students will be greeted by the project’s staff and driven one hour to the city of Arusha where they will be checked into hotel rooms arranged by the project.

If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email to the project director.  Local cell phone numbers and other emergency contact information will be provided to all enrolled students.

Visa Requirements: A passport with at least six months of validity remaining is required. U.S. citizens are re­quired to purchase a multiple entry visa at a cost of $100. The visa may be purchased upon arrival and requires payment in cash. Checks or credit cards are not accepted.  Yellow fever vaccinations are required for all travelers entering Tanzania and visitors must present a certificate when entering the country.  For more information, please visit the US State Department Travel Advice page.

Health: For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to travel in Tanzania, consult with the Centers for Disease Control website.

Project Directors and Contact Information:

Dr. Ignacio de la Torre, University Collage London (; Dr. Michael Pante, Colorado State University (


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