Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa

Lucy Skeleton

Learn more about the history of human evolution through the Lucy Skeleton, a rare artefact discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. Today, the magnificent bone fragments are preserved at the National Museum of Ethiopia and a detailed replica is on display. What makes the Lucy Skeleton so fascinating is how well preserved it is. Artifacts dating so far back are rarely more than just fragments. However, in this case, the ribs, skull and spine pieces were found intact. Reconstructing the bones led to a wealth of scientific studies that have helped shape our understanding of our evolutionary ancestors.

Evolution revealed in the skeleton

During a survey led by the French Geologist, Maurice Taieb, of the Hadar region in 1974, American anthropologist Don Johanson uncovered the upper end of a shinbone and then a femur. The pieces were evidence of an upright walking hominid more than three million years old. Lucy was discovered just 2 km from the Hadar site and is the most complete skeleton, dating from that period, ever found until the unearthing of Ardi in 1992.

Human or ape ancestor

It is estimated that Lucy is either a direct human ancestor or evolutionarily close. Reconstructions of the skeleton have revealed Lucy was just above 1 meter tall and weighed 29 kilograms, with a small skull capacity more closely resembling that of an ape rather than a modern day human.

From the Radisson Blu Hotel in Addis Ababa you are never far from the city’s attractions and the Lucy Skeleton is definitely worth a visit.