50th JAR Distinguished Lecture features Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie


Start Date: Apr 20, 2020 - 07:30pm

Location: Anthropology Lecture Hall 163

The 50th JAR Distinguished Lecture will feature Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Curator of Physical Anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  Dr. Haile-Selassie will present his talk, A new face to an old name: Recent discovery of a cranium of the earliest Australopithecus in Ethiopia, on Monday, April 20 at 7:30 pm in Anthropology lecture hall 163.  This event is free and open to the public.  On Tuesday, April 21, he will present a specialized seminar, Tempo and Mode of Evolution in the Earliest Australopiths, in Anthropology 178 at 12:15 pm.


The public lecture will focus on Woranso-Mille, a paleoanthropological site located in the Afar region of Ethiopia, which has become one of the most important sites to understand the evolutionary history of early hominins during the mid-Pliocene. The geological sequence at this site (~150 meters-thick) samples almost one and a half million years, between >4.3 and <3.0 million years ago (Ma).  It is the only site thus far that has provided incontrovertible fossil evidence showing that there were multiple related hominin species co-existing in close geographic proximity during the mid-Pliocene (3.5 – 3.3 Ma). Recently, a 3.8-million-year-old almost complete hominin cranium was discovered at the site and it was assigned to A. anamensis - the earliest known species of the genus Australopithecus – dated to 4.2 – 3.9 Ma.  In addition to revealing the face of A. anamensis for the first time, the new cranium also challenged the long-held hypothesis of direct, linear evolution from A. anamensis to Lucy’s species, A. afarensis, and added about 100kyr to the younger end of  the A. anamensis time range.   A new, more complex scenario for the origins of the human lineage is discussed in light of these latest finds and analyses.


Both events are free & open to the public and the venues are wheelchair-accessible. The Anthropology Building is located on Redondo Rd., just east of University Blvd. between M.L.King & Las Lomas. Please park at metered spaces on the north side of Las Lomas just east of Redondo or along the west edge of the Maxwell Museum parallel to Redondo Rd., unless you have a UNM parking permit, as ticketing continues until 8 p.m.

The Journal of Anthropological Research has been published quarterly by the University of New Mexico in the interest of general anthropology since 1945.  For subscription information, please visit www.journals.uchicago.edu/JAR. For information on the Lecture series call (505) 277-4544. Student subscriptions to JAR are only $23 for print and electronic versions.