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Rift Valley

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Rift Valley, Tanzania, Africa

Rift Valley, Tanzania, Africa

Scott Chacon
Definition: The Rift Valley of eastern Africa and Asia is an enormous geological split in the crust of the earth, thousands of kilometers long, between 100 and 45 kilometers wide, and between a few hundred to thousands of meters deep. Fascinating to geologists, the valley has also been a great source of hominid fossils, particularly in the Olduvai Gorge, where conditions have been remarkably favorable for their preservation.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.
Also Known As: the Great Rift Valley

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