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Conservators working with OGAP include both tangible and intangible features in their decision-making processes. We use the world’s best materials and techniques and focus on developing new approaches to lifting, consolidation and removal of matrices from fossils and lithics.

The conservation team is led by Renata Peters (University College London) through the UCL Conservation and Development Research Network. We aim to make Olduvai an international reference for in situ conservation excellence, besides making it sustainable and socially relevant. Our activities include:

The conservation team is supervised by Renata Peters and Dan Mainoya (conservator and curator at the Natural History Museum, Arusha) but we also have help from UCL MSc Conservation for Archaeology and Museums students, conservation apprentices Ephraim Lucas Tarmo, Isack Faustin Lyimo and Ngonyani Lihuni, and several other students. Here are some of the activities we carried out during the 2014 season.


Preparing material to be lifted. In this case, we decided to consolidate the surface with cyclododecane.

After careful consolidation, the fossil was ready to be lifted.

Archaeology students Trevor, Gabrielle and Renata Peters are now preparing this big fossil to be transported to our conservation lab at the Leakey Camp.

Ephraim Lucas Tarmo, removing sediment from a horn core.

Renata Peters consolidating and cleaning a fragile fossil.

The Olduvai fieldschool students learning conservation skills.


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