Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on June 29, 1973 · Page 66
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June 29, 1973

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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 66

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Phoenix, Arizona
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Friday, June 29, 1973
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Page 66
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JM2 The Arizona Republic Phoenix, Friday, June 29, clues Los Angeles Times Service .'KOOS1 POttA, Kenya — There can be few areas on earth so difficult for man as this land by . the shores of Lake Rudolf in northern Kenya. Yet man may have thrived here almost 3 million years ago. It is strange knowing this and seeing the area now. The' bra people, who oride fftsd here, were driven away the last few years by the arth of fresh water. They : little human life behind. |'Occasionally, nomads bring weir sheep and goats from |!thiopia to devour the' few Batches of grass amid the Scrub bush in the baked land. Aome fishermen work the af- fellinc lake, netting their food dlit of the algae-green waters, f far from slithering, ugly todiles. ;'. ';* ut 2 to 3 million years ago, few areas on earth were4 so hospitable to man. ..While, ice menaced the rest of the planet, this land near the equator had warmth. Large expanses of lush, swampy g^ass thrived. Fresh rivers cut agross the plains, their banks fflfch with forest. Heavy rains $This part of the world was W hospitable then that it has ifttw become one of the great mines of paleontology. No other place on earth has yielded older fossil specimens ol- what seems like early an. The most spectacular aeld came last year! More an 150 pieces of fossil bone ere found, which, when Jeced together, became a sjuill, now classified as that of an early man 2.9 million! years old. ) This discovery, and many others like it, could change most of the standard scientif- ib theories about how ; and when man evolved. first bits of this skull we're spotted in August 1972 By Bernard Ngenep, a member of a team of eight Kenya fossil hunters working for the expedition of Richard Leakey, the 29-yearrold director of the Kenya National Museum'and the son of the late Dr. Louis Si; B. Leakey, renowned Ken- 3^ paleontologist. f."Since Richard Leakey be- gari wor&at 1968, more than 90 specimens have been fourtd there of early man or of creatures akin to man. The LeaKey^expedi- tion, which will use the services of 26 other scientists this summer, has surely become science's most exciting and productive hunt these days for the fossils of early man. •'.., The 700 square miles that ¥ make up the Lake Rudolf site are ,so rich in fossils that, to a layman, the job of hunting them seems deceptively sim- pie. ••••'. :" ; So many fossils are on top, in fact, .that Leakey's Expedition has done little excavating below the surface. The incline where the fossil skull designated by its museum number 1470 Man was found is now <; bare earth with a stone marker;, showing the catalog-<num- be'r, All the rock sediment and fossils were removed and sifted by screen in search of hominid specimens. But the 'earth below.;the surface was left alone. Leakey intends to , excavate it this year. . A visitor Can stand at the incline where 1470 Man was found and see an escarpment about two miles away. :i That escarpment, its different layers of sediment and volcanic ash clearly stratified, is the key to the age of the fossils found by Leakey's expedition. Using the postassium-argon. method; scientists at the University of Cambridge have fixed the date of one layer of tuff or volcanic ash of the escarpment at 2.6 million years. The dating means that anything found below the level of that tuff - like 1470 Man — is at least 2.6 million years old. With additional dating of the strata below'the tuff by other methods, the scientists of the expedition have decided that 1470 Man was 2.9 million years old. That age is the main reason the finds of Leakey's expedition have upset or at least made questionable the standard theory about the evolution of man. The standard theory, accepted for seyeral decades, holds that modern man — known scientifically as Homo sapiens — was descended from a man-like ere a t u r e called Australopithecus. Australopithecus, now e x 11 n c t, once lived in both southern and eastern Africa. Although his name means southern ape, Australopithecus Avas more of a man than an ape. By biological classification, the genus Australopithecus belonged with the genus Homo (the genus of modern man) in the. family called hominids. It probably makes most sense to think of Australopithecus as a 1 m o s t a man. Where do Richard Leakey's 1470 Man and the other finds at Lake Rudolf challenge the standard theory? , , The skull of 1470 Man has a brain capacity which Leakey believes is too large for inclusion in the genus-Australopithecus. In addition, the expedition has found thigh bones of almost the same age as 1470 Man that are almost identical to those of modern man. Leakey v has classified all these as part of the genus Homo, though he has left undetermined the species of Homo that it is. In short, Leakey believes- that his expedition has uncovered evidence of a real man — not just a near man like Australopithecus"— existing in Africa 2.9 million years ago. "I think this new skull 1470 has forced us to accept the possibility, of a' new view. I don't think it's proved anyth- 'ing. But it has made everybody reexamin.e the evidence," Leakey, said. Order is signed ~ to erase agency SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — P.r e s i d e n t Nixon signed an executive order Wednesday that formally dismantled the Office of Emergency Preparedness, effective Sunday. Acting under a reorganization plan considered by Congress earlier in the year, Nixon assigned OEP's disaster relief functions .to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, its defense stockpile responsibilities t o the General Services Administration, .and its authority under the trade expansion act to the Treasury Department. BLAZER BONANZA 9.99 to 13.99 We've sketched a perky gingham check style of polyester/cotton. It's just one of the many looks in our value-priced collection. Solids, prints and other checks to choose from, in a variety of fabrics and assorted colors. Junior World Coats, 76 \> Mtiirta> tomorrow CHRIS-TOWN 1607 W. Bethany Home Road ; -.. V"i, «\\ v •-• << » **', m : . •• - ?• U V \ " •" ~ v ^f''^ • ..... -^ > '. A, -••- " ^ H-va- • ' • '• .. -<r^ 3 55i -.''' •'" V _,.-•*•" ' JIMOK.S* SUMMER LONGINGS 19.99 Party, patio or picnic. Anytime and anywhere you go this summer of '73 . . . wear a long dress. It's like wearing a soft breeze. 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