Fw: Travel pool report #12: POTUS meets "Lucy"

From: Eilperin, Juliet [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2015 08:00 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP
Subject: Travel pool report #12: POTUS meets "Lucy"

At roughly 7:35 pm EAT, the pool was ushered into a room where the partial skeleton of the hominid “Lucy” as well as additional fossils were displayed. President Obama was there with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn; Yonas Desta Tsegaye, Director General of the National Museum of Ethiopia; and Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged Lemseged, head of the California Academy of Sciences. Zeresenay Alemseged Lemseged was explaining the fossils to the president.

The bones of Lucy were sitting in a box and individually laid out, as opposed to pieced together.

Please check quotes against the transcript, but here’s what the pool could hear of their conversation

Alemseged asked POTUS to touch the bones, and talked about how that demonstrated how all human beings are connected. “Every single person, even Donald Trump.”

POTUS: “That’s amazing. So Lucy was on the chain to Homo sapiens.” He asked “how many jumps” there were between Lucy and Homor sapiens.

Alemseged said there were multiple generations in between. Referring to later discoveries, he added, “We have the evidence that Homo sapiens indeed emerged in Ethiopia.”

Then, the pool was ushered out.

Here is information about POTUS’ viewing of the partial skeleton of the hominid “Lucy,” per the White House:

Prior to attending the State Dinner with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, President Obama had an opportunity to meet "Lucy." Lucy is the common name of AL-288-1 -- several hundred pieces of bone representing 40 percent of a female Australopithecus afarensis. Discovered in 1974 by American anthropologist Ronald Johanson in Ethiopia's Afar region, Lucy is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago. In Ethiopia it is known as Dinkenesh: "You are marvelous" in Amharic.

Also, here is a little information on Alemseged, per the CAS website:

In 2006, Dr. Zeray Alemseged made an indelible mark in the field of anthropology when he reported finding the nearly complete fossilized remains of a 3.3 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis child in his native country of Ethiopia. Known as the “world’s oldest child,” it is the most complete skeleton of a human ancestor discovered to date and represents a major advancement in our understanding of human and pre-human evolution.

Juliet Eilperin

White House Bureau Chief

Washington Post

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