Maurice Taieb, Doris Barboni

Once Upon a Time There Was Lucy Publication date : May 25, 2022

Maurice Taieb is a geologist, emeritus head of research at the CNRS [Centre national de la recherche scientifique – French National Center for Scientific Research]. At the origins of the discovery of the wealth of fossils in the Afar region, he led the expedition that resulted in the discovery, alongside Yves Coppens and Donald Johanson, of the Lucy fossil, Australopithecus afarensis.
Doris Barboni is a palynologist, a specialist of plant micro-fossils and of issues related to the impact of the past environment and climate on human evolution. She is head of research at the Centre européen de recherche et d’enseignement des géosciences de l’environnement (CEREGE) [European Centre for Research and Teaching in Environmental Geoscience] in Aix-en-Provence.
Cécile Gambini was born in 1973. After attending the school of Beaux-Arts d’Aix-en-Provence (DNAP [Diplôme National d'Arts Plastiques -- Visual Arts National Diploma] 1995) and the Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg (degree in illustration, 1998), she published her first books in 1997. She divides her time between writing and illustrating children’s books, leading workshops-meetings for children, and illustrating for youth publications.

In November 1974, an international team led by Maurice Taieb, Donald Johanson, and Yves Coppens, discovered in northeastern Ethiopia, at the foot of the Afofili hill, 52 bones of Lucy, still today the best known Australopithecus.

Through the story of a little nine-year-old Afar girl named Awa, Maurice Taieb, who co-discovered Lucy, and Doris Barboni, a palynological researcher at the CNRS, here recount the adventure of this discovery, and explain in accessible language the geology of Afar, fossils, and what they tell us about the evolution of animals and the climate over a period of 3 million years.