One of the most important collections in sub-Saharan African is housed within the walls of the National Museum of Ethiopia in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Founded in 1944, the museum is divided into four sections: paleontology and prehistory, history, ethnography and modern art. The collections together paint a picture of Ethiopia’s natural and cultural history.
The star of the collection, which includes traditional and ceremonial costumes, paintings, sculptures and relics from the Pre-Aksumite civilization, is the partial fossilized skeleton of Lucy, a female hominin who lived some 3.2 million years ago. While the original fossils belong to the museum, what’s on display for visitors is a cast of our ancient ancestor.
English-speaking guides will show you around the museum free of charge, though tips are appreciated.