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Kenyan fossil founder awarded by US university

By Jacinta Mutura | May 29th 2021
Castings of Ororin Tugenensis fossils at Kipsaraman Community Museum in Baringo North Sub-County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A Kenyan Palaeontologist will tomorrow be rewarded with an honorary doctorate by Case Western Reserve University for his contribution to human ancestry.

Kamoya Kimeu will be one of the three honorary doctorate recipients awarded by the US-based university during the virtual graduation ceremony that will be streamed from Cleveland Ohio on Sunday.

The university described the palaeontologist and National Museums of Kenya Curator for Prehistoric sites for Kenya as a 'leading figure' in origins science.

“His discoveries have inspired a deeper understanding of humanity’s development. Kimeu is especially noted for findings that have provided important insights into human ancestry,” read a message from the university.


In Tanzania, his discovery of the Peninj Mandible of Paranthropus Boisei shed light on previously unknown Hominin diversity and debunked the idea that only one hominin species could exist at the same time in a single location.

Kimeu is also celebrated for the finding of a 195,000-year-old Homo sapiens skull, proved to be the earliest-known specimen of the human species.

Due to his contributions to society and in the paleontological field, Kimeu was 1985 bestowed with the National Geographic Society’s highest honour and prestigious La Gorce medal. The award was presented to him by then-president Ronald Reagan.

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The Director of Research and Science at Turkana Basin Institute Isaiah Odhiambo said the celebratory event which will be held in Karen is meant to celebrate Kenyan fossil finder’s achievement in archaeology.

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