Fossils from the remote deserts of Africa have enriched human origin studies and excited popular interest for nearly a century. In 2013, an international team of scientists working at the Ledi-Geraru site in Ethiopia uncovered the oldest-known human-like remains ever discovered. This year, San Bernardino County Museum paleontologist Eric Scott joined the Ledi-Geraru team for a month in the field, searching for fossils of extinct animals. In honor of Mothers’ Day weekend, Scott will offer a travelogue of his adventures in the region that mothered us all in his illustrated presentation, “The Birthplace of Humanity” on Saturday, May 9, at 2:00 p.m. The lecture at the County Museum in Redlands is included with paid museum admission.
A specialist in fossils of extinct horses, Scott was invited by scientists from the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University to share his expertise as part of the research team at Ledi-Geraru. The team included paleoanthropologists, paleontologists, geologists, and archaeologists, each group of experts exploring different facets of the Ledi-Geraru site.
Scott’s participation as a researcher on the team led him to the wilds of the Afar region of Ethiopia, where he encountered scorching deserts, exotic wildlife, and fascinating local cultures – as well as rare and priceless fossils. His lecture will showcase pictures from throughout his time in Africa, sharing details of fossil hunting, camp life, and what it’s like to live and work alongside international scientists, students, and regional Ethiopian peoples while exploring human origins.
“The Birthplace of Humanity” and the County Museum’s other exciting programs and exhibits reflect efforts by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.
The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 am to 5pm. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.