Dating your skeleton

Two weeks later, after many hours of excavation, screening, and sorting, several hundred fragments of bone had been recovered, representing 40 percent of a single hominid skeleton.

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Her distal femur shows several traits unique to bipedality.

There was drinking, dancing, and singing; the Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” was playing over and over.

At some point during that night, no one remembers when or by whom, the skeleton was given the name “Lucy.” The name has stuck.

Her vertebrae show signs of degenerative disease, but this is not always associated with older age.

All these indicators, when taken together, suggest that she was a young, but fully mature, adult when she died.

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