Learn more about the history of human evolution through the Lucy Skeleton - a rare artefact discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. Today, the stunning bone fragments are preserved at the National Museum of Ethiopia, and a detailed replica is on display for visitors.
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 the case of the Lucy Skeleton, 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 Lucy Skeleton
During a survey led by 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 that site - the most complete skeleton dating from that period ever found until the unearthing of "Ardi" in 1992. It's estimated the Lucy skeleton is either a direct human ancestor or evolutionarily close. Reconstructions of the skeleton have revealed Lucy was roughly 3 feet 7 inches tall and weighed 29 kilograms, with a small skull capacity more closely resembling that of an ape rather than a modern day human.
The Lucy Skeleton and more in Addis Ababa
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