Introduction to

Ethiopia has the most complete record of human origins of any country, with a record of fossils and artifacts documenting humanity's evolutionary history from our earliest ancestors to the first members of our species, Homo sapiens.

These antiquities come from many important sites and together they constitute the most comprehensive record of human origins and evolution on Earth.  One of these study areas in Ethiopia is the Middle Awash.

It is important to realize that modern paleoanthropology is not a search for human ancestors.  Rather, it is a search for knowledge about our biological and technological origins and evolution.  It is a search for every clue, no matter how small, about the now vanished worlds of the past occupied by our own ancestors, as well as all the ancestors of all the other plants and animals that make up our world today. 

Paleoanthropological research is therefore enormously complex, time-consuming, and detailed.  It is conducted by many researchers, at many universities, museums, and other institutions worldwide.  To learn more about paleoanthropology in general, and in Ethiopia in particular, visit the following links:

•  For more about paleoanthropology, click here.

•  For a background to paleoanthropological research in Ethiopia, click here.

•  For an introduction to field research, click here.

•  For an introduction to laboratory research, click here.

•  For an introduction to publications in paleoanthropology, click here.

• For a consideration of how paleoanthropology is integrating research and the national interests of Ethiopia, click here.