The Smithsonian’s Human Origins Project conducts field and lab research on the evolution of early human adaptations. Our key research partners are in East Africa and East Asia – especially in Kenya, China, and Indonesia. Our digs and studies in these regions, along with investigations by associates working in Ethiopia, Tanzania, India, Mozambique, among other countries, help generate scientific data on the long-term interaction of human ancestors with their surroundings.

The Smithsonian’s initial excavations at the nearby site of Kanjera in 1987 and 1988 gave our research team an opportunity to explore the eroded gullies of Kanam, located about 3 to 7 km to the west of Kanjera. The Kanam surveys turned up very few stone tools but hundreds of fossilized bones of diverse mammals.