Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_706


Lucy is a famous fossil specimen of the extinct hominin species Australopithecus afarensis (Fig. 1) discovered in 1974 at Hadar, Ethiopia, by paleoanthropologist Donald C. Johanson. A. afarensis was a small-brained, large-jawed, bipedal hominin that has since been discovered at several other sites in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and possibly Chad. The known time range of the species is c. 3.8–3.0 Ma. The discovery of Lucy changed perceptions about the timing and nature of the first appearance of traits that make us human.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Institute of Human OriginsArizona State UniversityTempeUSA