Today, scientists in Ethiopia revealed that an important find has been uncovered: the fossil of a girl, dating back 3.3 million years. This specimen is thought to be the most complete skeleton that has ever been found. In this article, we will explore what this find means and what we can learn about our past from this discovery.
The fossil find in Ethiopia was retrieved at Dikaja, which is situated about 400 kilometers from Addis Ababa, which is close to the Awash River, located in the Rift Valley. Some of the elements of the skeleton include the entire skull, shoulder blade, torso, as well as a few limbs. The head of the research team commented at a news conference that this is the most complete example of a hominid skeleton throughout the world. He went on to compare the find to that of the well-known “Lucy,” which was uncovered in 1974, stating that the new skeleton was older than she. “Lucy” was dated around 3.2 million years. The new fossil is now regarded as one of the best archaeological discoveries in the world. 150,000 years before Lucy walked the earth, a 3-year old girl lived and breathed until she met an early death. The cause of her death is believed to be from a flood that occurred near the Awash River.
The fossil remains have been named “Selam,” which means ”˜peace’ in Amharic, which is the official language in Ethiopia. As for the species that the fossil belonged to, she was grouped within the Australopithecus afarnesis species, which is the same species category as Lucy. Scientists believe that this species is a direct ancestor to modern humans and can answer many questions dealing with how our ancestors lived in the past. It is also the first time that early remains of a child representing our ancestors has been found, providing great insight into this area of archeology.
In terms of archeology, Ethiopia has produced numerous advanced finds. First, “Lucy” was discovered, which offered a near perfect example of a hominid skeleton. It allowed scientists to unlock the clues surrounding the origins of humanity. For example, a hominid skull was discovered in January, which may reveal many details regarding the human race. It is believed that the skull is between the ages of 200,000-500,000 years old.
In 2003, the findings of a 1997 discovery of fossils dating back 160,000 years were released. It took that long to piece together all of the fossil fragments, which produced the skulls of three individuals: two adult males and another from a 6 to 7-year old. The fossils were located within volcanic matter, which made it easier to conclude a more precise date for how far back they existed. Scientists used radioisotopes located within the surrounding soil to arrive at their dating results.
In 1967, the skulls of two Homo sapiens were uncovered. They were estimated to date back 195,000 years. These examples of early man were located close to an Ethiopian village in Herto, within the desert sand area. What next will they find throughout the country?