google-site-verification: google1c0c3254b0a96609.html Mary Leakey fossil hunter honoured with Google doodle on her 100th birthday Pics/Photos NewsProfile ~ Trending World

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Mary Leakey fossil hunter honoured with Google doodle on her 100th birthday Pics/Photos NewsProfile

Mary Leakey A fossil hunter. Mary Leakey honoured with Google doodle. Mary Leakey honoured with Google Doodle on her 100th birthday. Mary Leakey Pics. Mary Leakey  Photos. Mary Leakey News. Mary Leakey  Profile.Mary Douglas Leakey was recognized in her lifetime as one of the world’s most distinguished fossil hunters.  Because of her many important discoveries and her dedication to field research, she is considered a giant in the study of human origins.

Mary Leakey (6 February 1913 – 9 December 1996) was a British archaeologist and anthropologist, who discovered the first fossilized Proconsul skull, an extinct ape now believed to be ancestral to humans, and also discovered the robust Zinjanthropus skull at Olduvai Gorge. For much of her career she worked together with her husband, Louis Leakey, in Olduvai Gorge, uncovering the tools and fossils of ancient hominines. She developed a system for classifying the stone tools found at Olduvai. She also discovered the Laetoli footprints. In 1960 she became director of excavation at Olduvai and subsequently took it over, building her own staff. After the death of her husband, she became a leading palaeoanthropologist, helping to establish the Leakey tradition by training her son, Richard, in the field.
Mary Leakey fossil hunter honoured with Google doodle on her 100th birthday Pics/Photos NewsProfile
Mary Leakey(Fossil Hunter) Google doodle 

She was born Mary Douglas Nicol in London on February 6, 1913. She was the daughter of a popular landscape painter, Erskine Nicol, and Cecilia Frere. Mary herself was interested in art and archaeology at an early age. As a child she frequently travelled to France with her parents.  There, she visited a museum of prehistory and was allowed to participate in archaeological digs where she found ancient stone tools. She also visited the French caves at Font de Guame and La Mouthe, which are famous for their prehistoric paintings.  As a result of her father’s death in 1926, Mary and her mother moved back to London.  She rebelled against the constraints of the Catholic schools to which her mother sent her. In 1930, she began auditing university courses in archaeology and geology. She soon established herself as an authority on flint points and was recognised for her mastery of scientific illustration. She was introduced to Louis Leakey in 1933. Louis invited her to join him in Africa to draw the stone tools he had found. Three years later (after Leakey’s divorce from his first wife Frida) they were married. They had three sons (Jonathan in 1940, Richard in 1944, and Philip in 1948).

Among her many scientific accomplishments, Mary is credited with the discovery of Proconsul africanus in 1948, Zinjanthropus boisei (now known as Australopithecus boisei) in 1959, Homo habilis in 1960, and an amazingly well-preserved 89-foot long trail of early human footprints found at Laetoli (1979). These footprints have been dated to about 3.6 million years old and their discovery proved conclusively that our ancestors were at that time practicing bipedal locomotion. Mary and her team continued to find important hominid and prehistoric animal fossils until her retirement from active fieldwork in 1983.
Mary Leakey fossil hunter honoured with Google doodle on her 100th birthday Pics/Photos News
Mary Leakey(fossil Hunter) honoured with Google Doodle
on her 100th Birthday
Upon retirement, she moved to Nairobi from Olduvai Gorge, where she had lived for nearly 20 years. In retirement, she continued to contribute to science, writing articles about her lifetime of incredible discoveries. She died in 1996 at the age of eighty-three.

Childhood:
Mary Leakey was born Mary Douglas Nicol on February 6, 1913, in London, England to Erskine Edward Nicol and Cecilia Marion (Frere) Nicol. Since Erskine worked as a painter, specializing in watercolor landscapes, the Nicol family would move from place to place, visiting numerous locations in the USA, Italy, and Egypt, where Erskine painted scenes to be sold in England. Erskine Nicol developed an amateur enthusiasm for Egyptology during his travels. Mary Leakey was a direct descendant of antiquarian, John Frere, and cousin to archaeologist, Sheppard Frere, on her mother's side. The Frere family had been active abolitionists in the British colonial empire during the nineteenth century and established several communities for freed slaves. Three of these communities remained in existence as of Mrs. Leakey's 1984 autobiography: Freretown, Kenya, Freretown, South Africa, and Freretown, India. She also was a distant relative of baronet Henry Bartle Frere.

The Nicols spent much of their time in southern France. Mary became fluent in French. She identified more with the adventurous spirit of her father, going for long walks and explorations with him and having long talks. She disliked her governess and had less sympathy for her mother.
In 1925, when Mary was 12, the Nicols stayed at Les Eyzies at a time when Elie Peyrony was excavating one of the caves there. Peyrony did not understand the significance of much of what he found, and was not excavating scientifically during that early stage of archaeology. Mary received permission to go through his dump. It was there that her interest in prehistory was sparked. She started a collection of points, scrapers, and blades from the dump and developed her first system of classification.
That winter, the family moved to Cabrerets, a village of Lot, France. There she met AbbĂ© Lemozi, the village priest, who befriended her and became her mentor for a time. The two toured Pech Merle cave to view the prehistoric paintings of bison and horses.

Education:
In the spring of 1926, in Mary's 13th year, her father died of cancer. The services were read by Lemozi. Erskine's brother, Percy, came to take them back to London. Cecilia sold Erskine's paintings and moved to a boardinghouse in Kensington. She placed Mary in a local Catholic convent to be educated, following the example of her own life. Later, Mary boasted of never passing an examination there. Mary could not even excel at French, although she spoke it fluently, because her teacher frowned upon her provincial accent. She was expelled for refusing to recite poetry, and then expelled from a second convent school for causing an explosion in a chemistry laboratory.

After the second expulsion her mother hired two tutors, who were no more successful than the nuns, and mother and daughter visited Stonehenge. Mary's only particular interests were drawing and archaeology. Formal university admission was impossible with Mary's academic record. Her mother contacted a professor at Oxford University about possible admission. After being informed that it was not even worth her time applying, Mary had no further contact with the university until it awarded her an honorary doctoral degree in 1951. So the small family moved to Kensington where she could attend lectures unregistered in archaeology and related subjects at University College London and the London Museum, where she studied under Mortimer Wheeler.
She applied to a number of excavations to be held in the summer. Wheeler was the first to accept her for a dig at St. Albans at the Roman site of Verulamium. Mary's second dig was at Hembury, a Neolithic site, under Dorothy Liddell, who coached her for four years. Mary's illustrations of tools for Dorothy drew the attention of Gertrude Caton-Thompson, and in late 1932 she entered the field as an illustrator for Caton-Thompson's book, The Desert Fayoum.
Matriarch:
Through Gertrude, Mary met Louis Leakey, who was in need of an illustrator for his book, Adam's Ancestors. While she was doing that work they became romantically attached. They shared common interests and values: a love of freedom and dislike for rules, an egalitarian frame of mind extending even to animals, a desire for adventure, and a passion for archaeology. Louis was still married when he started living with Mary, which caused a scandal that ruined his career at Cambridge University. They were married when Louis' wife Frida divorced him in 1936.
From then until about 1962 Louis and Mary faced trying circumstances together. 

Early in their relationship he nursed her through double pneumonia. They had three sons:Jonathan in 1940, Richard in 1944, and Philip in 1949. The boys received much of their early childhood care at various anthropological sites. Whenever possible the Leakeys excavated and explored as a family. The boys grew up with the same love of freedom their parents had. Mary would not even allow guests to shoo away the pethyraxes that helped themselves to food and drink at the dinner table. She smoked very much, first cigarettes and then cigars, and dressed as though on excavation.
Louis was not always faithful to Mary, as he had not been to Frida. 

In 1960 they agreed that Mary would become director of excavations at Olduvai. From then on she operated more or less independently, taking over the dig. After Louis became known as a womanizer the intimate side of the marriage was effectively over. For example, Louis became briefly involved with Dian Fossey. Meanwhile, Mary's life consisted mainly of her children, her dogs, and her archaeology. Louis died on 1 October 1972 of a heart attack. Mary continued the family's archaeological work.
Mary carried on after Louis, becoming a powerful and respected figure. By then Richard had decided to become a palaeoanthropologist. She helped his career significantly. Her other two sons opted to follow other interests.
Death:
Mary died on 9 December 1996 at the age of 83, a renowned paleoanthropologist, who had not only conducted significant research of her own, but had been invaluable to the research careers of her husband Louis Leakey and their sons Richard, Philip and Jonathan.

Last but not least....,
British archeologist Mary Leakey has been honoured by Google on her 100th birth anniversary with a doodle depicting her discovery of the Laetoli footprints.

Mary Leakey was born in London, England on February 6, 1913. Her interest in archeology began at the age of 12 when she visited an excavation site in Les Eyzies. She began collecting points, scrapers, and blades from the site and developed her first system of classification.

Mary Leakey is credited with discovering the first fossilized Proconsul skull, Zinjanthropus skull, and many other hominine fossils and tools.

She died at the age of 83 in 1996.

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