The large collections of fossil hominid remains from Hadar, Ethiopia, derive from the Afar Triangle of the continental East African Rift. The fossils constitute much of the paratype series of Australopithecus afarensis (Johanson, White, and Coppens, 1978*). The primitive morphology exhibited by these hominids is consistent with their chronologic placement between 3.0 and 4.0 m.y. This paper provides the geographic, historic, stratigraphic, paleoenvironmental, and systematic background for Hadar fossil hominids described in this volume.
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