Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Fossiliferous area found in 1972 in the Afar Triangle region of northeastern Ethiopia (Africa), with localities that date in the 3.9-3.0 mya range. The remains of at least 35, and perhaps as many as 65, hominid individuals have been excavated from the region. It was once a lakeside with bushlands and patchy forests, and some 6,000 faunal specimens have also been excavated, providing a good picture of its Pliocene ecosystem. Hominids from Afar are identified by the prefix AL (Afar Locality), such as NME AL 288-1. Many tools have been found in the region, although none are associated with hominidbearing sites; the tools are grouped into five categories ranging from chopper/chopping to very recent lithic industries. In 1976, Oldowan-type tools dated at 2.6 mya were found at Hadar.

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