Lucy( Dinknesh), who is believed to be one of the oldest ancestors of the human being, is back home to Addis Ababa on may 1st after in displayed in three different states in the U.S. for the past six years.
The 40 % complete hominid fossil was taken to the USA along with 148 artefacts in a project called “Lucy Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia” to be displayed for visitors at museums in Huston Texas, Seattle and New York, California in 2007.
The project, organized by The Houston Museum of Natural Science in collaboration with Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, earned Ethiopia 1.5 Million USD. “Lucy has done a great job in promoting and building her country’s image,” said Amin Abdulkerim, Minister of Culture and Tourism at a ceremony organized to welcome the Fossil.
Lucy’s fossil was the taken to a Palaeoanthropology Laboratory of the National Museum, a new facility prepared for its display.
Lucy, known in her scientific name Australopithecus Afarensi, had a “great diplomatic mission”, said Ambassador Zerihun Retta, Consulate General of Ethiopia in Los Angeles, and one of the officials who brought the fossil back home. “Lucy was visited by [lot of] people,” said the Ambassador.
Lucy’s fossil was in display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Bowers Museum in South California, and The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C among other museums.
A team of technical experts including Donald Johnson, who first found Lucy, and Dr. Zersanai Alemseged, the Ethiopian paleoanthropologist who found ‘Selam’, the second oldest fossil next to Lucy, will be handling the returning process.
The 3.18 million years old fossil Lucy was found in 1974 in Hadar in the Afar depression in Eastern part of Ethiopia.
Photo- Tesfalem Waldyes for Addis Standard