Palaeontology, which deals with the study of ancient life especially mammalian evolution, human evolution and Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. This section houses millions of fossils collection including some of the best hominid specimens in the world that attracts researchers from all over the world; Archaeology section focuses on the early man’s technology and technological evolution from the past to the present. The section also houses millions of collections from all over Kenya with some of the earliest known stone tools.
The section houses all the natural fossil heritage of Kenya.
There are over 200,000 fossil specimens from more than 100 fossil sites concentrated within the Rift Valley. The collection comprises 3 main fossil groups i.e. Vertebrates, Invertebrates and plants. It represents different geological time periods i.e. the Oligocene (33- 23 million years), the Miocene (25- 5 million years), (4- 2.5 million years) and the Pleistocene (2.5- 0.1 million years).
Some specimens are very large and represent large prehistoric animals such as elephants while others represent small mammals like the rodents. The specimens are only acquired through field expeditions that are largely funded externally. The collection is taxonomically stored within sites of the same geological period in the research laboratory.
Through research by various disciplines this collection helps to understand the evolutionary history, life processes of the organisms it represents and palaeo-environment in which they lived. All the specimens in the section are well documented at the time of collection in the field and the process continues once received in the storage laboratory.
The main users of the collections are researchers, university and middle level college students and the public through exhibitions.
Information on the collections is disseminated to the public through lectures, media, publications, exhibits, organized tours of the labs and talks for university students and students attachments.