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Fossil shows early humans lived close to Nairobi city

A fossil has been discovered in the Ngong Hills belonging to early human species, Australopithecus afarensis, proving that early humans lived close to Nairobi city.

The discovery of the 3.5 million year-old fossil at the Kantis Fossil Site (KFS) is the first specimen of the species that occurred outside the Rift Valley and also the first time the A. afarensis species has been discovered in Kenya.

Previous findings were in Tanzania and Ethiopia.

“The presence of A. afarensis at KFS extends the geographical range of the species away from the Rift Valley systems and suggests the species found suitable habitats in the Kenyan highlands,” said the National Museums of Kenya in a statement.

The research was done by a team of scholars comprising Kenyans, Americans Japanese and French scientists and was coordinated by Dr Emma Mbua, an associate research scientist at the National Museums of Kenya and a lecturer at Mount Kenya University.

KFS joins early human sites that have yielded fossils of at least five humanoid species such as Koobi Fora, Kanapoi and Nariokotome on the eastern and western side of Lake Turkana.

“It is our expectations that KFS, due to its proximity to Nairobi city, will serve as an important tourist destination in addition to research, and will attract visitors that are interested in early human development story,” the statement said further.