News FocusPaleontology

Paleontological Rift in the Rift Valley

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Science  13 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5515, pp. 198-201
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5515.198

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TUGEN HILLS AND NAIROBI, KENYA-- A bitter dispute has erupted over rights to hunt for fossils in the Tugen Hills, an area that has yielded some dramatic finds in recent years. Turf battles among paleoanthropologists are nothing new, but the fight over the Tugen Hills seems to run deeper than most other disputes, and it has implications for the way paleontology will be managed and conducted in a country that holds vital importance for the field. Some view the battle as a power struggle between a new museum system and the National Museums of Kenya, which is the official repository for fossils unearthed in the country.