Mary Leakey British Archaeologist


Today February 6, 2013 Google is celebrating the life and legacy of Mary Leaky. It have been quite some time since Google have had a International Google Doodle and we were glad to see that they are having a Google Doodle for February 6, 2013.

Mary Leakey

Who was Mary Leaky

This is the part we like most about Google Doodles, the quest to find out who and what the Google Doodle is about. In many cases we have no idea what the doodle is about and in many cases are often surprised to learn that we should have known about the person Google is honoring on their homepage. In the case of Mary Leaky I had no idea who she was, before the “Mary Leaky” Google doodle today.

One of the sources we trust most when researching is the Wikipedia site, and according to the Wikipedia article about “Mary Leaky” She was born on the 6th of February 1913 and died on the 9th of December 1996. Mary Leaky was a British archaeologist and anthropologist, who discovered the first fossilized Proconsul skull. According to Wikipedia the

Proconsul Skull Proconsul

is an extinct genus of primates that existed from 23 to 5 million years ago during the Miocene epoch.

Fossil remains are present in Eastern Africa including Kenya and Uganda. Four species have been classified to date: P. africanus, P. heseloni, P. major and P. nyanzae. The four species differ mainly in body size. Environmental reconstructions for the Early Miocene Proconsul sites are still tentative and range from forested environments to more open, arid grasslands. –

Mary Leaky is also credited with the discovery of the

Zinjanthropus skull

at Olduvai Gorge. Paranthropus is a genus of extinct hominines. Also known as robust australopithecines, they were bipedal hominids that probably descended from the “Gracile” australopithecine hominids (Australopithecus).

They are characterized by robust craniodental anatomy, including gorilla-like cranial crests, which suggest strong muscles of mastication, without the transverse cranial crest also present on modern gorillas.

Mary Leakey was born Mary Douglas Nicol on February 6 1913 in London, England to Erskine Edward Nicol and Cecilia Marion (Frere) Nicol. Since Erskine worked as a painter, specializing in watercolor landscapes, the Nicol family would move from place to place, visiting numerous locations in the USA, Italy, and Egypt, where Erskine painted scenes to be sold in England.

Erskine Nicol developed an amateur enthusiasm for Egyptology during his travels. Mary Leakey was a direct descendant of antiquarian, John Frere, and cousin to archaeologist, Sheppard Frere, on her mother’s side. The Frere family had been active abolitionists in the British colonial empire during the nineteenth century and established several communities for freed slaves. Three of these communities remained in existence as of Mrs. Leakey’s 1984 autobiography: Freretown, Kenya, Freretown, South Africa, and Freretown, India. She also was a distant relative of baronet Henry Bartle Frere.

Mary Leakey Google Doodle.

Google Doodle

In the Google Doodle today one can see an image of what looks like Mary Leakey on an excavation and archeology site, busy with some excavations. In the background one can also see her two Dalmatians and the Google words looks like rock formations in the background. All and all we love today’s Google Doodle and are glad that Google have provided us with some insight into the life and legacy of Mary Leakey!

What do you think of the Mary Leakey Google Doodle?