Ethiopia is one of the oldest archaeological sites in the world. The fossils of Australopithecus Afarensis (homo sapiens species) were discovered in Hadar Afar region in 1974. The exact origin is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and is located some 160km from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The skulls and bones belonged to a 24 year old female Lucy/Dinkinesh (translated in Amharic as you are astounding) that lived here some 3 million years ago.
To stress the archaeological importance of Ethiopia was the discovery of another series of fossils in Awash in 1992 of Ardipithecus Ramidus thought to ne 4 million years old and also the discovery of Australopithecus Garhi, a fossil dating some 2 million years ago by a team of Ethiopian anthropologists like Berhane Asfaw in middle Asfaw. Garhi is believed to be a descendant of Afarensis from the earlier discoveries. Also among the discovered fossils are bones of antelopes and horses that were found 278m from the same site where Garhi’s skull was discovered.
Top Archaeological sites in Ethiopia
Middle Awash is the top archaeological site located near Awash river in central Ethiopia’s Afar Region. Besides its wildlife from the nearby national park and the Filwoha hot springs, the area has many other fossils that possibly remain undiscovered to this date. This area’s location is particularly important to archaeological discoveries and it is by no wonder that early settlers took on this place as their home. Seventeen hominid fossils were also found in Pliocene strata in the village of Aramis and Hadar also found in the middle of Awash Afar region.
National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa is the home of Lucy, the famous skull that was first discovered in Ethiopia. The museum as well exhibits archaeological objects like pots, bronze tools, ancient scripts, ruins from different monuments, minted coins and crescent discs among other items.
Melka Kunture is another important city for discoveries in Ethiopia found south if the capital Addis Ababa. There were many stone tools that were discovered in Melka Kunture since 1960s. It was thus declared a Palaeolithic site in Ethiopia and many excavations are on going to date.
Omo Kibish is another scene from Ethiopia Archaeological discoveries. The Omo River is a tributary of Gibe River and other small river Nile tributaries such as Wabi, Mago and Gojeb in southern Ethiopia. The ancient rocky formations at Kibish have several sites where Richard Leakey made many important discoveries of Homo sapiens fossils that dated 12500 BC. More discoveries of human skulls were made in 1967 near Omo River.