LUCY: THE BEGINNINGS OF HUMANKIND
by Donald C. Johanson and Maitland A. Edey; Simon & Schuster; 409 pages
Time: Nov. 30, 1974. Scene: the bleached and arid Afar Triangle of Ethiopia. Nothing about the desert seemed auspicious. Yet Anthropologist Donald Johanson had a premonition that this would be no ordinary morning. Shortly afterward, his hunch was ratified. The day was not merely unusual; it was epochal.
After cataloguing some fossils, Johanson introduced a colleague to a section labeled Locality 162. They came across an arm bone, then other parts from the same creature. By happenstance,...