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Anthropology of Ethiopia
Ethiopia is the earliest known home of humankind. A skeleton of an older human ancestor Australopithecus Afarensis was discovered in 1974 in the Afar region.
Anthropologists have established that the skeleton covering 40% of the human body had belonged to a twenty-years-old female that lived 3.5 million years ago. Registered by the United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage, the site of the discovery is called Hadar - situated 160 kilometers northeast of Addis Ababa.
The Skeleton is popularly known as Lucy or Dinkinesh. The discovery has completed the missing link between apes and men - paving the way for the search to human origins. In addition, the earliest known hominid, 4.4 million years old Ardipithecus Ramidus was discovered in the Middle Awash in 1992. The recent discoveries include Australopithecus Garhi, 2.5 million-years-old hominid.
Garhi means 'surprise' in the Afar language - a language spoken in the internationally acclaimed archeological site. Discovered by an international team led by Ethiopian Anthropologist Berhane Asfaw in the Middle Awash, Garhi is said to be a surprising hominid shaking the family tree. Paleontologist Tim White of the University of California at Berkeley was also the CO-leader of the team. The species discovered by the team is descended from Australopithecus Afarensis and is a candidate ancestor for early Homo.
Bones from antelopes and horse were found 278 meters from the site of Garhi skull fragments at the same layer of sediment. "The bones show unmistakable gashes left by stone tools: the animals were butchered, the meat cut away, and the bones hammered open to extract marrow. This is by far the earliest proof of tool-based butchery and may well provide the evolutionary driver that led to big-brained humans.
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