The Sediments of Time, a book written by Meave Leakey (Yes those Leakey’s) with her daughter Samira is a look into the history of modern Paleoanthropology from her perspective as some of the greatest archaeological finds of all time were made.
From the discovery, excavation and preparation of the Turkana Boy, as well as many other erectus fossils found all over the larger Turkana region, Koobi Fora, and other localities.
Fossils from all across Africa are chronicled in this book, all from the perspective of a young WOMEN in the STEM field. Its a perspective that is both rare and welcoming as most stories and recollections from the time are from their male counterparts, which is great but its a nice change.
The books goes over the personal life of the Leakey’s at the time, from Meave getting hired on by Louis and eventually marrying Richard, nursing him through the loss of his legs, and even giving him a kidney. A story of true love follows these two as they adventure around the wilds of Africa following Richards pursuits. But Meave was never far behind, in fact in some cases she was in front, leading her own expeditions when Richard couldn’t, or when he had to take up position with the ranger service.
This books is not a technical biological review of the evolution of humans, while human evolution is a prevailing theme, and is all that is talked about, it is what is between the lines that make this book stand out against the crowd when it comes to books on paleoanthropology.
The Leakey Family is famous for all that they have contributed, and continue to contribute to the community of paleontologists, archaeologists, and scientists who study and try to answer the same initial questions that Louis Leakey set out to answer oh so long ago.
This is a great read if you want to hear about the story of these amazing finds, and learn the history of where we are today.
Don’t miss out on this one.