Saturday, March 05, 2005

Ethiopian Archaeologists Make Important Fossil Find

Archaeologists studying human origins in eastern Ethiopia have discovered 12 fossils that appear to be older than the famous fossil "Lucy," the team leader said on Saturday.

"The discovery of 12 early hominid fossil specimens estimated to be between 3.8 to 4 million years old will be important in terms of understanding the early phases of human evolution before Lucy," Ethiopian archeologist Yohannes Haile Selassie told a news conference.

"It is hoped that the new discoveries will allow scientists to connect the dots, furthering our knowledge of the time period in human evolution," he added.

"This is the world's oldest biped," Bruce Latimer, director of the natural history museum in Cleveland, Ohio, told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital, adding that "it will revolutionize the way we see human evolution."

Lucy is Ethiopia's world-acclaimed archaeological find. The discovery of the almost complete hominid skeleton, estimated to be at least 3.2 million years old, in 1974 was a landmark in the search for the origins of humanity.

Some Worry Public Display Could Harm Lucy's Bones

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