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A Skeleton Named 'Ardi'

The Latest Famous Early Human Fossil

With nearly a mile thickness of sediments accumulated over the last six million years, Ethiopia's Middle Awash study area affords a wealth of well-dated fossils and stone tools, including hominid remains from more than a dozen different time horizons.  This now constitutes the world's longest record of human evolution from a single place on Planet Earth.  For three decades, the goals of the research project have been to advance scientific knowledge and build Ethiopian paleoanthropological capacity in manpower and infrastructure.  The international Middle Awash research team has found and described fossils from different species of Homo, Australopithecus, and Ardipithecus.  The Ethiopian discoveries have been shared with the scientific community and interested public via ~6,500 printed pages, and electronically at the project website (  For details about the "Ardi" fossil shown here on the October 2009 cover of Science, please visit the links listed below.

Ardipithecus ramidus, Science Magazine Cover