Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Haley Reading Group: Amy Maxmen’s "Digging Through the World’s Oldest Graveyard"
[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2015)]
By Cynthia A. Campbell
Amy Maxmen’s article “Digging Through the World’s Oldest Graveyard” highlights paleoanthropologists Zeresenay Alemseged and Berhane Asfaw’s expeditions to locate fossils and human skeletal remains in Ethiopia. Maxmen illuminates the discovery of and process of dating the human remains found. Ultimately, the article speaks to Ethiopia being this significant geographical region in understanding the evolution of humans.
Maxmen’s discussion of Ardi (Ardipithecus ramidus) was especially enlightening. At one point, Maxmen notes that “the analysis took 15 years and 47 researchers to paint a full picture of…and her surroundings” (184). This point indicates the intricacies and painstaking efforts of thorough research.
In your view, what was most memorable or useful about Maxmen’s article?