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National Museum of Ethiopia

The National Museum of Ethiopia, situated in the heart of the capital, Addis Ababa, near Addis Ababa University’s graduate school, is a repository of the country’s cultural, historical, and archaeological treasures. It is also recognized for housing significant paleoanthropological exhibits.

The museum was conceptualized in 1936 with an exhibition of ceremonial costumes donated by the Solomonic dynasty. It later grew out of the establishment of the Institute of Archaeology in 1958, an initiative intended to facilitate archaeological research in northern Ethiopia, primarily conducted by French archaeologists. The museum began showcasing artifacts from these expeditions, gradually diversifying its activities into conservation, documentation, and exhibition and research departments.

The National Museum is famous for its archaeological finds, particularly early hominid fossils like “Lucy,” a partial skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis. More recent additions to the collection include “Selam,” another archaic fossil dating back to around 3.3 million years ago.