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'Lucy' the fossil unveiled at Africa Joint Pavilion

VISITORS to the Africa Joint Pavilion will be able to see what mankind looked like 3.2 million years ago.

A replica of the fossil specimen "Lucy" was unveiled in the Ethiopia Area of the pavilion yesterday and it will be displayed until the end of the Expo, said organizers.

"Lucy" was discovered in 1974 in the Awash Valley in Ethiopia. She has hundreds of bones that together form 40 percent of the skeleton of a woman in her 20s.

She was assessed as the earliest evidence of mankind in a state of development able to walk upright.

As archaeologists played the Beatles' hit song "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" in camp at the time the skeleton was found, she was nicknamed "Lucy."

In Ethiopia, she has the name "Dinkenesh," which means "you are beautiful" or "you are wonderful," pavilion organizers revealed yesterday.

"Lucy" is about 1.1 meters tall and weighs 29 kilograms. Her cranial capacity was about 400 milliliters, about 30 percent of a modern human. At the time, mankinds' cranial capacity has been estimated to range from 300 to 500 milliliters.

Scientists found that her pelvis area indicated she had given birth, officials said.

The exhibit is a frequent World Expo item. Before coming to Shanghai, the replica, usually displayed at the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, has featured at the World Expo in Zaragoza, Spain, in 1992 and Hanover, Germany, in 1990.

The original specimen is now in the United States, officials said.

Teshome Regessa Feyissa, the museum lecturer who has been talking about "Lucy" for 25 years, is on hand in the pavilion to introduce her to visitors.

Feyissa, who may have spent the most time with "Lucy," will be in the pavilion for about two months. "When 'Lucy' came to Shanghai, advanced packaging techniques were used to ensure her safety," Feyissa said.

"She was put into a wooden box which we ensured to be as safe as possible. She spent about a week travelling from the museum in Ethiopia to Shanghai," he said.


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