SANTA ANA, CA.-
Ethiopia is the cradle of mankind, the birthplace of coffee, the purported resting place of the Ark of the Covenantand home to Lucy, the 3.2 million year old hominid that has become the worlds most famous fossil, outside of Ethiopia. Even three decades after her discovery, Lucy continues to profoundly influence our understanding of human origins. With 40 percent of her skeleton intact, Lucy remains the oldest and most complete adult human ancestor fully retrieved from African soil.
The display of original artifacts is crucial to the educational impact of museum exhibitions, said Joel A. Bartsch, president of the Houston Museum of Natural Science the organizer of this exhibition. Anyone can make a copy. But the experience of standing before an authentic historical artifact, whether ancient parchments or multi-million-year-old fossils, is a call to the intellect, to discover more about the world and perhaps even more about yourself. The Lucy fossil in particular evokes a strong response from everyone who sees her, and as such, she is the ultimate goodwill ambassador for Ethiopia. Lucy not only validates Ethiopias claim as the Cradle of Mankind, she also introduces viewers to the rich cultural heritage that has flourished in Ethiopia over the course of the last 3,000 years, and to the vibrant country that Ethiopia is today.
This exhibition is an opportunity for people to better understand current scientific theory of human evolution, and to see for themselves how the discovery of Lucy continues to profoundly influence our understanding of human originseven 30 years after her discovery. After being exhibited at the Bowers Museum
, this incredibly rare and fragile hominid fossil will be returned to a specially constructed safe in the Paleoanthropology Laboratories of the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Lucys Legacy: The Hidden Treasure of Ethiopia is an International Exhibition organized by the Houston Museum of Natural Science in collaboration with The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Exhibition Coordinating Committee.