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The Sediments of Time

The Sediments of Time: My Lifelong Search for the Past by Meave Leakey, Samira Leakey

Reviewed by L. Bennett


The Leakey name may be familiar to many of you. Louis and his wife Mary found fossils in East Africa that shed light on human evolution. Their son Richard continued their work, joined by his wife Meave. Long hours under very hot sun, dodging poisonous snakes, angry elephants, and flash floods was all in a day's work for Meave. She took over the fieldwork after Richard was appointed head of the Kenya's national museum. She and the team of highly skilled fossil hunters recovered more significant finds. Those discoveries, their importance in understanding human evolution, and the friendships forged with colleagues are the fabric of this book, written by Meave and her daughter Samira. They are good story-tellers and provide enough scientific background for the reader to comprehend the geology and climate changes that provided the impetus for becoming human. It was not a quick read, but the book flows well and the view into Meave's life as a scientist was fascinating.


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