Hadar, Ethiopia

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Hadar (also spelled Adda Da'ar; Afar "treaty [ahdi] stream [d'ar]")[1] is a village in Ethiopia, on the southern edge of the Afar Triangle. The village is known for the nearby archaeological site.

According to Jon Kalb, early maps show caravan routes passing within 10 or 15 kilometers of Hadar but not through it. The British explorer L.M. Nesbitt passed 15 kilometres west of Hadar in 1928.[1]


Hadar is located in Mille woreda, which is part of the Administrative Zone 1 of the Afar Region. The Central Statistical Agency has not published an estimate for its 2005 population.

On 4 February 2007, the Afar Regional Cabinet approved the creation of a new woreda, taken from the western part of Mille woreda, with its administrative center to be at Hadar.[2]

Archeological findings and sitings[edit]

The first geological explorations of the Hadar area had been done by Maurice Taieb. He apparently found Hadar in December 1970, by following one of the tributaries of the Ledi River, which originates in the highlands north of Bati to empty into the Awash River. Taeib recovered a number of fossils in the area, and led a party back to Hadar May 1972. In October 1973 the International Afar Research Expedition with 16 people arrived at Hadar and stayed there for two months, during which time the first hominid fossil was found. Although Taeib claims in his 1985 book Sur la terre des primiers hommes to have discovered the Hadar fields in 1968, Kalb argues that this earlier claim is incorrect. Based on their findings, they named the sedimentary geological formation they examined the Hadar Formation, which they dated to between 3.5 and 2.3 million years ago, or to the late Pliocene epoch.[3]

A member of the 1973 expedition to Hadar, the archeologist Donald Johanson, returned to Hadar the next year to make the first discovery of the remains of Lucy, a three-million-year-old fossilized specimen of Australopithecus afarensis. The name 'Lucy' was inspired by the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", by The Beatles, which happened to be playing on the radio at base camp. About thirty years later, another skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis was found in another outcrop of the Hadar Formation across the Awash in Dikika. The skeleton was a three-year-old girl and afterwards named "Selam", which means peace in several Ethiopian languages.


  1. ^ a b Jon KalbAdventures in the Bone Trade (New York: Copernicus Books, 2001), p. 83
  2. ^ "Three new woredas decided in Afar Region"
  3. ^ Feibel, Craig S.; Christopher J. Campisano (2004). "Sedimentary Patterns in the Pliocene Hadar Formation, Afar Rift, Ethiopia". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 11°10′N 40°38′E / 11.167°N 40.633°E / 11.167; 40.633