Central Highlands

New sites in the Central highlandsOur knowledge of the earliest human dispersals from the Rift Valley of Africa remains limited. Recent lines of evidence suggest that somewhere around two million years ago Homo erectus or a closely related taxon left the African continent and began the initial colonization of Eurasia. Our 2008 rescue project in the north-central highlands of Ethiopia has located three important archaeological and paleontological sites – Fanta, Gemeda, and Tole – which date back to 1.8 million years and are expected to provide important evidence about the ecology and adaptations of Homo erectus in high altitude environments. Notably, Fanta is the first well-documented Pleistocene site near Addis Ababa, presenting a unique opportunity for combining scientific research, education, and tourism within easy access of the city.