French-Cameroonian Paleoanthropological Mission (MPFC)

The high plateaus of western Cameroon:
the line of Mount Cameroon in the Region of Bafoussam-Dschang-Foumban-Nkambé

Looking for until now unknown fossils of African apes

Principal investigator

Research question

The MPFC surveys fossiliferous levels dated to the last 20 million years in western Cameroon. The goal is to discover fossil hominoids (apes) that may be part of the stem group of gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans.

Some results

The MPFC found volcanoclastic deposits that contain macroremains of a wet tropical vegetation Radiochronologically dated to the early Miocene. These Miocene reconstructed environments correspond to usual hominoid habitats.

Mission Organization

The MPFC is led at PALEVOPRIM and at the Collège de France through a joint program with the Institute for Geological and Mining Research (IRGM) of Yaoundé, Cameroun.


The MPFC is notably supported by PALEVOPRIM, the IRGM and fundings obtained from the private sector.

Iconic publications

Benammi M., Hell J.V., Bessong M., Nolla D., Solé J. and Brunet M. (2017). Preliminary Magnetostratigraphic and Isotopic Dating of the Ngwa Formation (Dschang Western Cameroon). J Geol Geophys 2017, 6:2. doi: 10.4172/2381-8719.1000282

Bessong M., Hell J. V., Feist Burkhardt S., Samankassou E., Bennami M., Nolla J. D., Mbesse C. O., Adatte T., Martini R., Brunet M., 2017. First palynostratigraphical evidence for a Late Eocene to Early Miocene age of the volcano-sedimentary series of Dschang, western part of Cameroon and its implications for the interpretation of palaeoenvironment. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 485, 517-530.



Tél. : +33 (0)5 49 45 37 53

Guylaine REYNAUD

Tél. : +33 (0)5 49 45 37 26

Fax : +33.(0)5 49 45 40 17


Université de Poitiers – UFR SFA


Bât B35 – TSA 51106

6 rue Michel Brunet

86073 POITIERS Cedex 9