Understanding the basin’s fluctuating history provides a more complete picture of what factors may have affected early life in this region. Vital to this research is mapping, the ability to show features on the landscape and to mark areas of interest that can be relocated. Back in the 1970s when some of the first paleoanthropological expeditions began, navigating in the field was a much more difficult task. There were no roads, no GPS units, and inaccurate sketch maps. In order to locate where a fossil was found, researchers had to estimate on aerial photos. How was field research ever productive back then?
Today, we are very fortunate to have GPS units that can give us more precise coordinates of our location, making field work a much easier task. To stress this, the students first mapping assignment was to make observations of the TBI-Ileret campus and create a sketch map of the facility, without a GPS unit or any other tools. Below are photos of some of their initial sketches.