The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Afar is one of the nine ethnic divisions (kililoch) of Ethiopia. Formerly known as Region 2, its capital is Asayita . Covering 96,707 km2 in the northeast of the country, its population (as of 1999) is 1,188,000. The Danakil depression , the lowest point in Ethiopia and one of the lowest in Africa, is found in the north of the region.

The Afar language is spoken in the district. Afar peoples live primarily in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, eastern Eritrea, and Djibouti, but as they are traditionally nomadic herders, they may be found further afield. The Afar have a strong relationship with their environment and its wildlife, sharing land and resources with animals and doing them no harm. It is this tendency that is largely responsible for the preservation of the critically endangered African wild ass (Equus Africanus ), which has become extinct in more vulnerable environments.

Fossil Finds

Afar was the site of the discovery of Lucy, the Australopithecus afarensis skeletal remains, by Donald Johanson of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. On March 5, 2005, another skeleton has been found, which has been judged 3.8 million years old, and said to be the worlds oldest early bipedal hominid skeleton.

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Last updated: 08-18-2005 13:21:58
Last updated: 09-03-2005 18:37:12