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Originally published Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Weekend highlight

Fascinating Lucy and her past expected to draw crowds to Pacific Science Center

"Lucy's Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia" is a display of the 3.2 million-year-old hominid Lucy, the world's most famous fossil, and other artifacts spanning more than 200,000 years of history in Ethiopia, at Pacific Science Center through March 8, 2009.

Seattle Times staff

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See the world's most famous fossil, Lucy, on her first trip out of her homeland since her 1974 discovery, starring in a display illustrating millions of years of the history of Ethiopia in "Lucy's Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia" at Pacific Science Center.

Discovered in 1974 and named for the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," the 3.2-million-year-old fossil is the oldest, most complete and best preserved adult fossil of our erect-walking ancestors.

Lucy resides in a glass case in the final gallery in the exhibit, surrounded by a colorful mural depicting 5 million years of hominid evolution in a natural landscape.

Before encountering Lucy, visitors are immersed in the fascinating history of Ethiopia. Included are displays and artifacts on its 10,000-year-old cave drawings, the seven centuries of its great kingdom of Aksum, early history of Christianity and Islam, successful resistance to European colonization in the 19th century and the 20th-century legacy of Emperor Haile Selassie.

There are also exhibits and hands-on activities on how fossils are discovered, excavated and analyzed.

Entrance to the exhibit is timed to control crowds. Once you are inside, there is no time limit, and audio tours are provided to enhance your visit.

The exhibit includes hands-on learning activities for school-age kids. This weekend's "Tricks, Treats and Science Feats" celebration provides Halloween-themed science events.

"Lucy's Legacy" continues at Pacific Science Center through March 8. Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. are a bargain: $12 per person for the Lucy exhibit only.

The details

Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays (other exhibit halls close at 5 p.m.) through March 8; timed entry every 15 minutes, last is 90 minutes before closing time. Starting Nov. 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays added.

Cost: $9/ages 3-5, $16.50/ages 6-12, $20.75/ages 13-64, $18.25/ages 65 and older; 5-9 p.m. Thursdays, Lucy exhibit only, $12/all ages.

Location: Pacific Science Center, 200 Second Ave. N., Seattle Center.


Getting there: From Interstate 5, northbound or southbound, take Exit 167, Mercer Street; at the end of the ramp, turn right at Fairview Avenue North, turn left at Valley Street, which becomes Broad Street; turn right at Denny Way, then right on Second Avenue North. Seattle Center traffic hotline and parking info, 206-233-3989; Metro Transit service, 206-553-3000 or; Seattle Center Monorail, 206-905-2620 or

Parking: Albert Claypool Memorial Garage at the corner of Second Avenue North and Denny Way, with covered walkway to Science Center entrance; other Seattle Center lots and pay lots and street parking available.

More information: 877-733-5829 or

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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