From the Media Capital, to the Global Ethiopian Community
Wednesday October 27th 2021

Lucy, 3 million years old, on display at Expo

BEIJING, May 14 — Lucy, a 3-million-year-old human skeleton fossil, will be on display for the remainder of Expo 2010 Shanghai.

The skeleton is a replica and its display was opened to the public on Thursday in the Ethiopia section of the Joint Africa Pavilion.

The exhibit, created 30 years ago, contains the only replica of the skeleton in the world. It was preserved in the Ethiopian National Museum in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. The original skeleton is at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in the United States for scientific and educational purposes.

“It is equally as important as the original version, because it gives visitors at least a picture of what Lucy looks like,” said Sisay Getachew Azage, commissioner general of the Ethiopia section. “It is a chance for the Chinese to know more about the origin of humans.”

Donald Johanson and Tom Gray discovered Lucy in November 1974, making her the earliest known hominid, dating back 3.2 million years.

“Before Lucy was discovered, we thought the earliest that humans walked upright was 2 million years ago,” said Teshome Regassa Feyissa, who is a specialist with 25 years of research experience in the Ethiopian National Museum. “The finding of Lucy also signifies that Africa is the cradle of human beings.”

Feyissa said Lucy is the oldest, most complete skeleton, with 40 percent of her bones recovered, providing much more detailed information about human beings.

Feyissa will work in the Joint Africa Pavilion until June to tell visitors about Lucy in English. The section operators will try to find a Chinese speaker to translate.

Preserved in a transparent case, the skeleton is formed with black and white bones, with the black portion of the skeleton representing the parts that were discovered in 1974.

It is the third time the replica of Lucy has been presented at a World Expo. It was previously shown at the Hanover Expo in 2000 and at the Zaragoza Expo in 2008.

Lucy was identified as a female based on her size, who died in her 20s. She may have given birth to a baby. Lucy’s brain size is much smaller than that of today’s normal adult.

Lucy obtained her name from The Beatles’ song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, which is often played in celebration of her discovery.

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2 Responses to “Lucy, 3 million years old, on display at Expo”

  1. Yohannes Haile-Selassie says:

    Dear Editor,

    I would like to bring to your attention that the story you posted on unveiling “Lucy” at the Shanghai Expo has factual errors.

    First, the original “Lucy” was at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She went back to Ethiopia in the early 1980s. Currently, she is on a U.S. 6-years tour, although she is not on tour right now and stored at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Houston, Texas, waiting for her next venue. Please correct your posting so that you don’t give wrong information to the general public.
    Yohannes Haile-Selassie

  2. admin says:

    Thank you for your comment Yohannes. The display is a replica as stated in the article above. It is not the actual skeleton of Lucy. The replica is on display at Shanghai World Expo 2010 at the Ethiopian Pavilion you can see more about it below.

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