Fidelis Masao

Name ID 1512

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1982 Publishes: Masao, Fidelis The Rock Art of Kondoa and Singida: A Comparative Description

Extract ID: 4305

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Coulson, David and Campbell, Alex African Rock Art - Paintings and Engravings on Stone
Page Number: 134
Extract Date: 2001


The red paintings can be subdivided into those found in central Tanzania, some of which may have been made by Sandawe and Hadza ancestors; and those found in a broad band stretching from Zambia to the Indian Ocean, which are thought to have been painted by Twa.

The Tanzanian paintings include early large, naturalistic images of animals (fig. 157) with occasional geometric patterns and later images of people and animals, sometimes in apparent hunting and domestic scenes. People are drawn wearing skirts, with strange hairstyles and body decoration (fig. 159), and sometimes holding bows and arrows. The Tanzanian red paintings have been quite extensively studied, first by Mary and Louis Leakey in the 1930s and 1950s and then by Fidelis Masao and Emmanuel Anati, all of whom have recorded numerous sites, divided the art chronologically into broad categories and dozens of styles, proposed dates, and made tentative interpretations about meaning.

The Sandawe and Hadza, who claim their ancestors were responsible for some of the later art, live in the general area ofTanzania's rock art concentration and speak languages employing click consonants distantly related to Khoisan.These peoples have practiced, until very recently, a hunter-gatherer econony and even today some Sandawe spend time in the forest collecting honey and wild food and hunting small animals.

Extract ID: 4909

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Blumenschine et al Late Pliocene Homo and Hominid Land Use from Western Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
Extract Author: Laura Kennedy
Extract Date: 20Feb 2003

Humankind's family tree reshaped

A 1.8-million-year-old jawbone and other fossils uncovered in Tanzania's Olduvai Gorge have reignited a longstanding controversy about the family tree of humankind's earliest ancestors. At the same time, the finds offer a new look at how and where early humans lived, according to a study in the journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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With Fidelis Masao of Tanzania and Charles Peters of the University of Georgia, Blumenschine co-directs the Olduvai Landscape Paleoarchaeology Project. These researchers focus on stone tools and animal bones bearing butchery marks to reveal the activities of long-ago human ancestors. Fortunately, such specimens occurred in abundance along with OH 65, so the find has shed light on both the evolution and behavior of early humans.

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The work of the Science team in western Olduvai yielded at least one other definitive finding. "The Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania has shown its potential is far from exhausted," wrote erstwhile Leakey colleague Phillip Tobias of South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand, in a commentary that accompanies the Science paper.

Blumenschine agreed: "There's a perception that the Leakeys found everything, but that's the furthest thing from the truth. As long as the Tanzanians continue to treasure and conserve Olduvai, the whole world will continue to be amazed by it."

Extract ID: 3912