Camping Trip to Lothagam – Day 2

|Camping Trip to Lothagam – Day 2

The next morning the students woke up at dawn, and after a simple breakfast, they set out for a long hike along the Nawata river bed and up the hills to the waterhole in the southern end of Lothagam.

On the way, Abdi took the students to see a handaxe he had found the previous day. Handaxes are a trademark of the Acheulean technological tradition and were made by our early hominin ancestors between 1.7 and 0.2 million years ago.

Abdi's Handaxe.

Abdi’s Handaxe.

Dr. Feibel then took the students further along the laga up to the site of some giraffe trace fossils. Many years ago when the lake reached as far as Lothagam, a group of giraffes would have been walking across a mud plain, slipping and skidding on the squishy surface and left footprints that were preserved by sand that superimposed them. Now the students were able to seen these footprints on a collapsed block of sandstone up in the Lothagam hills. Pretty amazing!

Dr. Feibel points out the giraffe tracemarks.

Dr. Feibel points out the giraffe tracemarks.

The students then headed up to the Galana Boi formation which was rich with fossils and archaeology. Dr. Raynolds found a fragment of a bone harpoon!

The students arrive at the Galana Boi formation.

The students arrive at the Galana Boi formation.

Dr. Raynolds' bone harpoon.

Dr. Raynolds’ bone harpoon.

Up on the plateau, the students made their way south and down the gorge to the waterhole, where a young shepherd was resting with his goats.

The students scramble down the gorge.

The students scramble down the gorge.

One last jump before the waterhole.

One last jump before the waterhole.

Rob sits on a ridge above the waterhole and takes in the view.

Rob sits on a ridge above the waterhole and takes in the view.

After a short break Dr. Feibel let the students loose to find their own way back to camp, where a delicious meal was waiting. Everyone made it back safely and with full bellies and everything packed, they got back on the truck to return to TBI.

It was Valentine’s Day, so it was time to catch up with the celebrations.

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Earlier in the week each student randomly picked a piece of paper from a hat with the name of their secret valentine and spent the following days preparing cards and gifts for them. After dinner, now back at TBI, the cupid (embodied by the Teaching Assistant) spread the love and distributed the gifts to everyone. Sarah and Carolina made the perfect pair as they turned out to be each other’s secret valentine – Adorable! Here are some pictures.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! (click to enlarge)

More news coming soon!

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:55+00:00 February 18th, 2014|Field Schools|Comments Off on Camping Trip to Lothagam – Day 2

About the Author:

Hi! I am Kat Warren and I am the Teaching Assistant for the Spring 2014 field school. While I am here I am also involved in the African Fossils Project (africanfossils.org) where I am 3D-scanning modern African fauna, fossils and archaeological material. I am a recent graduate in Archaeological Science from the University of Sheffield and my current interests lie in the evolution of cognition, and primate behaviour as a means to understand the cognitive frameworks of our earliest ancestors.