Spanning three continents and the three disciplines of palaeontology, geology and archaeology, Gudrun Corvinus‘ achievements were vast, and so the loss to science was huge when she was killed in 2006 while still active in research.

Born in 1931, Gudrun started her scientific career studying Jurassicammonites from France, but later shifted to Palaeolithic (earliest stone age) archaeology. She first worked in India, and in the 1960s undertook huge surveys and the first detailed multidisciplinary excavations, making unprecedented discoveries.

Working in 1974 in Ethiopia as part of the research team that found thefamous australopithecus “Lucy” fossils, Gudrun was the first person to find the Gona archaeological deposits, which are the oldest known artefacts in the world.

Following this, in Namibia she discovered extremely rich Miocene animal fossils (17 Million years old), and in the 1980s she returned to India where she spent the next 25 years pioneering the study of prehistory in Nepal, until her untimely death.

Written and posted by Becky

recent video about the Gona archaeological sites

Main sources: In Memoriam chapter in Axe Age, by N. Goren-Inbar and Gonen Sharon; and from article by P. Chauan in Quaternary International

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