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The skull lacked of a sagittal crest and the braincase was much more rounded, suggesting it was not australopithecine.

The Leakeys soon turned the evidence that confirmed their intuition.

They found stone tools in the lowest (oldest) geological beds (see below).

Their finds and research in East Africa and the prior work of Raymond Dart and Robert Broom in South Africa eventually convinced most paleoanthropologists that humans did indeed evolve in Africa.

In 1959, at the Frida Leakey Korongo (FLK) site (named after Louis' first wife), Mary Leakey found remains of the robust australopithecine Zinjanthropus boisei (now known as Paranthropus boisei)—which she dubbed the "Nutcracker Man"; its age, 1.75 million years, radically altered accepted ideas about the time scale of human evolution.

Oldupai is the Maasai word for the wild sisal plant Sansevieria ehrenbergii, which grows in the gorge. The australopithecine Paranthropus boisei was found to occupy the site from approximately 1.8 until 1.2 mya.

Remains of Homo erectus have been dated at the site from 1.2 mya until 700,000 years ago.

The first species found by the Leakeys, Zinjanthropus boisei or Australopithecus boisei (renamed and still debated as Paranthropus boisei), featured a sagittal crest and large molars, which attributes suggested the species engaged in heavy chewing, indicating a diet of tough plant material, including tubers, nuts, and seeds—and possibly large quantities of grasses and sedges.

Conversely, the Leakeys' 1960s finds presented different characteristics.

Researchers have dated Olduvai Gorge layers with radiometric dating of the embedded artifacts, using potassium-argon and argon-argon methodology. Hay studied the Olduvai Gorge and surrounding region between 19.

His findings revealed that the site once contained a large lake, with shores covered by deposits of volcanic ash.

The British/Kenyan paleoanthropologist-archeologist team Mary and Louis Leakey established and developed the excavation and research programs at Olduvai Gorge which achieved great advances of human knowledge and world-renowned status.

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