BY MISGANAW ASNAKE
ADDIS ABABA – Team of researchers in various departments of Addis Ababa University (AAU) discovered new archaeological at Yalda-Toume Valley in Konso Zone, Southern Ethiopia.
The discovery of Yalda-Tuome valley Plio-Pleistocene Pre-historic Site was led by two scientists, namely, Alemseged Beldados, Associate Professor of Archaeology Director from Addis Ababa University and Archaeologist Yohannes Zeleke (PhD) from National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institute USA.
The site is discovered on December 19, 2021 during a survey and reconnaissance study. The team was also engaged in geo-archaeological and Ethno-archaeological as part of data collection for PhD and Masters Students dissertation projects. Newly discovered Yalda-Tuome Paleo-Pleistocene Site in Konso special Zone comprised two important archaeological and paleontological localities in Yalda-Tuome.
This preliminary report focuses on the Tuome site as one of the richest fossil formation deposit which partially is under imminent danger of destruction by local farming activities
The site is located between the Yalda and Rale Rivers, and presents a unique opportunity for scientific research, education, and tourism within easy reach of the Karat city, the capital city of the Konso Zone according the research team.
The site is rich in fossil mammals and lithic artifacts and the latter consistent with Acheulean technology, Hand axes, Picks, and some marine deposits. The Acheulean artifacts indicate an early-middle Pleistocene age, but more precise dating of the sediments including volcanic ash layers shall be conducted. The fossil mammals include Hippos, Suid, equids, Bovid, and elephant which are consistent with a Pleistocene age (about 2-3 million years ago). Yalda-Tuome site is estimated to age up to 3 million years.
Although the study is in progress, the Yalda-Toume Valley is expected to be an ideal place to study past climate change, cultural and biological evolutions of animal species and human beings. Apart from its scientific advantage, the site can serve as an additional Tourist destination and it is in line with the leading slogan that Ethiopia has recently introduced, “Ethiopia, Land of Origins.”
The finding is one of the most important discoveries made in Ethiopia so far in terms of the concentration of animal fossils and Early Stone Age tools in a limited geographical extent of location.
The January 8/202