Addis Ababa, May 2 (WIC) – Lucy (Dinkinesh), perhaps the world’s most famous fossil, returned home after a five-year contract tour and exhibition displayed for the first time outside Ethiopia in the US along with 148 other heritages yesterday. Senior government officials and other stakeholders welcomed her.
The fossil’s departure from Ethiopia had created a cloud of suspicion among archaeologists and paleontologists as well as many Ethiopians. The 3.2 million-year-old Lucy, the oldest and most complete adult human ancestor fully retrieved from Ethiopian soil is now back home.
Culture and Tourism Minister Amin Abdulkadir told local journalists and foreign correspondents here yesterday that Lucy has played an important role in the US in strengthening and enhancing people-to-people relations between the two countries.
According to him, Lucy has also built the positive image of Ethiopia. “It has played its ambassadorial role in its five-year stay in the US. Now, Lucy and other 148 heritages of Ethiopia have come home as per the agreement,” he added.
Lucy was Ethiopia’s goodwill ambassador. It validated that the country is the cradle of mankind and also introduced people to the rich cultural heritage of Ethiopia that flourished during the last 3,000 years.
Zeresenay Alemseged, an Ethiopian Scientist and Paleoanthropologist, who discovered Selam-a fossil referred to as “Lucy’s child”, on his part indicated that Lucy is world heritage. “It is not only a heritage but a fossil that connects human beings around the globe. Hence, Lucy is a world heritage which proves that Ethiopia is the cradle of mankind,” he said.
US Paleoanthropologist Donald Carl Johanson who discovered Lucy also said: “We are united by our past-Lucy. And I am happy that it has come home today after it was exhibited in America.”
The fossil of Lucy is a female hominid australopithecine which was found in the Afar Triangle region of Hadar, Ethiopia, by Donald Johanson in 1974. It is described as the first known member of Australopithecus afarensis. (EPA)