Kamoya Kimeu

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Kamoya Kimeu (born c. 1940), a Kamba tribesman, is one of the world's most successful fossil collectors. With paleontologists Meave Leakey and Richard Leakey, he found some of the most significant paleoanthropological discoveries. Kimeu found a Homo habilis skull known as KNM ER 1813, and an almost complete Homo erectus skeleton known as Turkana Boy or Nariokotome boy). He has two fossil primates named after him: Kamoyapithecus hamiltoni and Cercopithecoides kimeui.

Kimeu began to work in paleoanthropology as a labourer for Louis Leakey and Mary Leakey in the 1950s. He was recruited for Mary Leakey's team when she took over as head of excavations at Olduvai. She preferred to hire Kamba men rather than Kikuyu, whom Louis preferred. In 1963 he joined with Richard Leakey's expeditions, accompanying him to the Omo River and Lake Rudolf (now Lake Turkana) in 1967.

He quickly became Richard Leakey's right-hand man, controlling field operations in Leakey's absence. In 1977 he became the National Museums of Kenya's curator for all prehistoric sites in Kenya. Kimeu was awarded the National Geographic Society's LaGorce Medal by the US President Ronald Reagan in a ceremony at the White House.[1]

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  1. Larsen, Clark Spencer (2011). Our origins: discovering physical anthropology. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 312. ISBN 978-0-393-93498-4.

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