The Origin Of Humans
People have been fascinated by the origin of humans for centuries. Many archaeological digs have led experts to some of the answers to help us understand more about evolution. While we have learned a lot over the years, there are still gaps of information that are missing. Experts are just waiting for another discovery that can help them with the answers they need. A recent development has led researchers to believe that they may have found a very important clue.
Paleontologists consider the Woranso-Mille site, which is located about 300-miles from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, to be a significant place. It is located near the borders of Djibouti and Eritrea and has been a site where many evolutionary clues have been found.
One of the most surprising discoveries occurred just 18-miles from the site in 1974. This is where scientists found the famous Lucy skeleton. She is believed to have been a member of the Australopithecus afarensis species, and she is a descendant of human-kind that lived between 2.9 and 3.9 million years ago. This is one of the most amazing and treasured relics ever discovered.
What We Learned
Lucy’s discovery was an essential specimen because it helped us understand how humans evolved to walk on two feet. Researchers made another discovery in 1965, and they believed that this person lived between 3.9 and 4.2 million years ago. Unlike Lucy, this specimen wasn’t intact. Experts have only recovered teeth, a jaw, and arm fragments.
In February 2016, another startling discovery was made in the area. This time, it wasn’t discovered by a scientist or an archaeologist. It was a goat herder named Ali Bereino, who made the discovery. He was digging about three miles from Miro Dora so that he could build a new goat pen. It was then that he found a part of the jaw called the maxilla coming up from the ground. He contacted the government officials immediately. The officials believed that the maxilla would be of great interest to Yohannes Haile-Selassie, who was the co-leader of the group digging at Woranso-Mille. Ali had a reputation with the experts. There were many times that he claimed to have discovered fossils, but each time Yohannes made the trip to his home, he found nothing.
Bring It In
This time, Yohannes didn’t want to make a trip for nothing. He told Ali that he could bring the specimen in. Yohannes had been surveying the site since 2004, and during that time, they found many individual fossils. They weren’t sure if Ali found anything, but if he did, they needed to see it. Yohannes never expected that Ali’s find would be the most important one so far.
Taking the Trip
When Ali proved that he really did find a fossil, Yohannes took the trip to his home. He walked over two miles to the pen to find the rest of the skull. It took a while, but finally, he believed that he found what he was looking for coming out of the ground. Yohannes became so excited that he started jumping up and down. This caused the government official who accompanied him to think that Yohannes had lost his mind. He told CNN News that when he saw the rest of the skull, it was like a dream come true. It was the most significant find to date.
National Museum Of Ethiopia and a Dig
After removing the rest of the skull and wrapping it in a scarf, he took it back to the museum to study. One of his colleagues claimed to have never have seen Yohannes so happy in his life. After getting the skull to the museum, they went back to Miro Dora to scour the earth for any more relics. It was a 16-hour dig, and for a while, all they found was goat droppings. Finally, they found more fragments. It took over three years for the team to study the bones.
This was not the first bone from this species of human ever found, but they had never seen a complete skull. Finally, they could put a face to the name. It possessed larger canine teeth than earlier humans. Other aspects helped the researchers to determine more about the diet and the behaviors of the species. The face was broad and protruding, which made it perfect for chewing food that was difficult to chew.
A Better Understanding
Experts unearthed a 3.8 million-year-old skull in Ethiopia that may change the face of human history. Finally, we have a better understanding of where we come from. For Yohannes, it was the find of a lifetime and the find of his career.