37 Years Ago, On Lake Turkana, In Kenya… A Nearly Complete Fossilized Skeleton Of A Boy Was Uncovered…

And this — this very place, by a lake’s edge — may well be the cradle, that birthed what became. . . us all, some 1.7 to 1.5 million years ago.

In fact, every living human today possesses about 1% of his or her DNA, from a line of descent that connects to homo erectus. [About half again that much comes from the Neanderthals — we have learned, from 23AndMe studies of over 5 million separate humans’ genome sequences.] Here is the BBC, on it all, recently:

. . .It was a skeleton of a young boy, discovered at Lake Turkana in the deserts of northern Kenya. He died when he was about eight years old and his bones sank into the sediments of the lake, where they were preserved for 1.5 million years. He was, and is, the most complete early-human fossil ever discovered.

Yet “Turkana Boy” is just one of many early human fossils discovered near the lake. Together they span four million years of human evolution. This one spot has told us a huge amount about where we came from and how our ancestors lived. . . .

The earliest known Acheulean hand-axes were discovered near Lake Turkana in 2011. They are 1.76 million years old and were probably made by H. erectus (of which species, Turkana Boy was a member). . . .

Smiling in the warm August sunshine — with cool lake breezes blowing by, here at the park. . . in sum. . . perfect. It is not at all unlikely, that as a much wetter, less hot climate — 1.5 million years ago — surrounded Kenya, and Lake Turkana. . . the eight year old boy depicted above was doing much the same as my grand-niece, right now. . . . grin.


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