Sample Kenya - History (Grades 6-8) Worksheet
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Kenya - History
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
  

1     The early dates of prehistoric sites in Africa support the belief that this continent was the cradle of early man. An amazing discovery made by Kenyan anthropologist Richard Leakey at Koobi Fora along the shore of Lake Rudolf in Kenya confirmed that belief. Leakey and his fellow workers uncovered some 400 hominid remains, representing perhaps 230 individuals, making Koobi Fora the site of the richest and most varied collection of early human remains found in the world.
 
2     Here, apparently, was the cradle of man-the-toolmaker; deliberately shaped flints found beside the lake have been dated as 2.5 millions years old. In 1972 a dramatic new discovery was made on the eastern shore of the lake: the skull and leg bones of one of the creatures who made the tools, and probably man's earliest known ancestor.
 
3     Known as "1470 Man" (as he was coded by the anthropologists as "Skull 1470"), he was a hunter. He used a simple pebble-tool--a small natural stone from which flakes were chipped to leave a sharp cutting edge. The remains found at Lake Rudolf indicate that "1470 Man" could stand and walk upright, and is believed to be the direct ancestor of modern man.
 
4     So, the first known inhabitants of Kenya--and Eastern Africa in general--were among the first inhabitants of our planet. Our only knowledge of what those people looked like and how they lived is based on the rare traces of their existence that have survived--fossilized bones, stone tools, broken pottery, carvings on rocks, and paintings in caves.
 
5     The formation of Kenyan population, as it is now, dates back thousands of years ago, when Bantu-speaking immigrants--ancestors of the Kikuyu and other present-day Kenyan tribes--entered Kenya from the south. Five hundred years later, other peoples, including nomadic Maasai, entered Kenya from the north. Some time later, the Luo entered western Kenya; while within the last 150 years increasing numbers of Galla and Somali have migrated into Kenya from the northeast.

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