The "Lucy" fossil rewrote the story of humanity
Forty years ago, on a Sunday morning in late November 1974, a team of scientists were digging in an isolated spot in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Surveying the area, paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson spotted a small part of an elbow bone. He immediately recognized it as coming from a human ancestor. And there was plenty more. "As I looked up the slopes to my left I saw bits of the skull, a chunk of jaw, a couple of vertebrae," says Johanson.