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This picture is a panorama made up of 4 pictures and cropped to allow it to be presented on Trekearth.

The Olduvai Gorge or Oldupai Gorge is commonly referred to as "The Cradle of Mankind." It is a steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley, which stretches along eastern Africa. Olduvai is in the eastern Serengeti Plains in northern Tanzania and is about 30 miles long. The gorge is named after the Maasai word for the wild sisal plant Sansevieria ehrenbergii, commonly called Oldupaai.

It is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world and has been instrumental in furthering understanding of early human evolution. Excavation work there was pioneered by Louis and Mary Leakey in the 1950s and continued into the twenty first century by Professor Fidelis Masao of the Open University of Tanzania supported by Earthwatch; there have also been teams from Rutgers University. Millions of years ago, the site was that of a large lake, the shores of which were covered with successive deposits of volcanic ash. Around 500,000 years ago seismic activity diverted a nearby stream which began to cut down into the sediments, revealing seven main layers in the walls of the gorge.
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Additional Photos by Mike Stenson (caproger) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 13 W: 7 N: 14] (168)
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