Mary Leakey's 100th birthday marked by Google doodle

Mary Leakey's 100th birthday marked by Google doodle
Mary Leakey, noted archaeologist and anthropologist, is the subject of latest Google doodle.

Leakey is perhaps most famous for her discovery of Proconsul skull, an extinct ape now believed to be ancestral to humans, and the robust Zinjanthropus skull at Olduvai Gorge.

Mary Leakey was born in London, England on February 6, 1913. Her father earned his living as a painter and moved from one place to the other while trying to make a living. It was during these travels that Leakey developed an interest in Egyptology. Later, her family spent considerable amount of time in France and this is where Leakey had her first exposure to archaeology.

In 1925, when she was just 12, Leakey got to spend some time with Elie Peyrony was excavating one of the caves at Les Eyzies in France. Mary Leakey took Peyrony's permission to go through the discoveries and she ended up starting a collection of points, scrapers, and blades from the dump. This is how she discovered an interest in archaeology and indeed her first system of classification.

Later in her life Mary met Louis Leakey, who she eventually married. The two went on various excavations together, often taking their sons along with them. The Leakeys unearthed a Proconsul africanus skull on Rusinga Island, in October 1948. After Louis died, she continued her work at the sites of Olduvai and Laetoli. At Laetoli, she discovered Hominin fossils that were said to be more than 3.75 million-years-old.

Mary died on 9 December 1996 at the age of 83.

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