Olduvai Gorge Paleoanthropology Field School

This program will provide young scholars with an exceptional study abroad experience at one of the world’s premier paleoanthropological sites: Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. The site was made famous by the excavations of Mary and Louis Leakey and is home to dozens of the most well-preserved early archaeological sites in the world. Students will have the unique opportunity to support and participate in an international project that is tracking the bio-behavioral evolution of our remote ancestors between 2 and 1 million years ago. While students receive training in basic paleoanthropological field and laboratory techniques, they will also experience the rich cultures and diverse wildlife of one of Africa’s most beautiful countries. Each student will gain experience in all aspects of field and lab research. Students will also attend weekly lectures describing the region’s prehistory, culture, and ecology. Four excursions are also planned: two paleoanthropological sites (Engaresero and Lake Ndutu), a visit to the local Maasai market, and a safari day within the Ngorongoro Crater, which supports one of the densest populations of wildlife in Africa.

Students will arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport, just outside of Arusha, and will be met at the airport by program staff and transported into Arusha for the first night. Students will then be transported to Olduvai Gorge, a trip of approximately 5-6 hours. Once at the gorge, students will stay on-site in tents at the Aguirre-Mturi Field Research Station, which has fresh water for cleaning and consumption, solar lights, and generators. The research station also has its own cooking and dining facility, and food is prepared over an open fire. Students will work six days per week, from 8am to 4pm, with the first half of the day dedicated to field work/excavation and the second half to find curation and analysis. The program runs from mid-June through mid-July. Exact dates TBA.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and non-UNCG students with an overall GPA of 3.0 and at least one course in anthropology or archaeology are welcome to apply. Program directors and participants are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to departure.

UNCG reserves the right to cancel or alter the program’s format, or to change costs in case of conditions beyond its control. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is of utmost concern, and we are actively monitoring the situation in Tanzania.