Lothagam: The Dawn of Humanity in Eastern Africa

By Meave G. Leakey; John M. Harris | Go to book overview

13
LOTHAGAM: ITS SIGNIFICANCE AND CONTRIBUTIONS

Meave G. Leakey and John M. Harris

Lothagam, located to the southwest of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, is an uplifted fault block composed of a gently westward-dipping sequence of volcanic and sedimentary rocks. These rocks have been subdivided into four major lithostratigraphic units, which document discrete stages in the large-scale tectonic and climatic evolution of the region and record a sequence of river systems and lakes (Feibel this volume:chapter 2.1). The Middle to Late Miocene Nabwal Arangan beds comprise conglomerates and lavas derived from a nearby high-relief volcanic source; to date, this basal unit has yielded only fossil wood. The main fossiliferous sequence begins with the superjacent Nawata Formation, which was deposited by a major fluvial system and with variations in fluvial facies that reflect changes in subsidence rate and water budget during the Late Miocene. The Early Pliocene Apak Member of the Nachukui Formation records a different source terrain and fluvial style and may represent the ancestral Kerio Paver system. The upper portion of the Apak Member and the subsequent Muruongori Member strata are lacustrine in character and represent the southern portion of the extensive Lonyumun Lake that filled much of the Turkana Basin during the Early Pliocene. Subsequent flu

Figure 13.1 Restoration of the Nawata Formation habitat by Mauricio Ant6n.

-623-

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Lothagam: The Dawn of Humanity in Eastern Africa
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Geology, Paleosols, and Dating 15
  • 3 - Crustacea and Pisces 65
  • 4 - Reptilia and Aves 113
  • 5 - Lagomorpha and Rodentia 167
  • 6 - Primates 199
  • 7 - Carn1vora 259
  • 8 - Pr0b0sc1dea and Tubul1dentata 329
  • 9 - Perissodactyla 369
  • 10 - Hippopotam1dae and Suidae 439
  • 11 - Ruminantia 521
  • 12 - Isotopes 579
  • 12.1 Stable Isotope Ecology of Northern Kenya, with Emphasis on the Turkana Basin 581
  • 13 - Lothagam- Its Significance and Contributions 623
  • Appendix - Notes on the Reconstructions of Fossil Vertebrates from Lothagam 659
  • Contributors 665
  • Index 667
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