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The Chiwondo Beds in northern Malawi, Foto: Oliver Sandrock, HLMD

Research Project ‘Northern Malawi’

The Malawi Rift marks the youngest part of the East African Rift. So far, three fossil hominins were discovered in northern Malawi, where the genus Homo coexisted with Paranthropus, an extinct robust ancestor. In addition, fossil mammals such as elephants, savanna pigs, horses, antelopes, giraffes, rhinos and Old World monkeys have been found. They give evidence to a rich fauna in the habitat of our early ancestors, which still characters the landscape of modern African bush- and woodlands. Eventually, the vicinity of the Uraha hominid site yielded the remains of a large carnivore. This is an extremely rare fossil in Malawi and demonstrates the high potential for further spectacular discoveries at the locality. The geographical position of the Malawi Rift between the East and South African fossil localities enables to study environmental changes and their effects on wildlife between 1.5 and 4 million years ago.

The Chiwondo Beds in northern Malawi, Foto: Oliver Sandrock, HLMD

The long-lasting successful collaboration of the 'Hominid Corridor Research Project' (HCRP) is carried out with colleagues from the Senckenberg Research Institute, Frankfurt and the 'Department of Museum & Monuments' as well as the 'Cultural & Museum Center Karonga' in Malawi. Among other things, the cooperation led to regular visits by school classes to the museum, the founding of a radio station (Radio Dinosaur), the implementation of field schools for students and other scientific projects.

Responsible for the project at the Landesmuseum:

Dr. Oliver Sandrock

Project partners

Hominid Corridor Research Project (HCRP) Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt Department of Museum & Monuments Cultural & Museum Centre Karonga in Malawi

Die Haupthalle im Eingangsbereich des Hessischen Landesmuseums

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