June 2022 : book
“Il était une fois Lucy”

Il était une fois Lucy

  • Maurice Taieb, Doris Barboni
  • Illustrations Cécile Gambini
  • Preface de Yves Coppens

In November 1974, an international team led by Maurice Taieb, Donald Johanson and Yves Coppens discovered Lucy in northern Ethiopia.

Who was Lucy? How did she live 3 million years ago? How did we know that she was our direct ancestor? What does she tell us about our origins?

Through the story of a little Afar girl, Maurice Taieb, Lucy’s co-discoverer, and Doris Barboni, a researcher at the CNRS, tell the story of this discovery and offer simple explanations of the geology of Afar, the fossils and how they tell the story of the evolution of animals and the climate over the last 3 million years.

Illustrated story for children (8-10 years)

Keywords: fossils, evolution, geology, climate

The reason for this book: The desire to tell the story of this discovery, to make people feel the emotion and enthusiasm associated with it, to arouse curiosity and questioning in order to build the committed beings of tomorrow, and to make children and parents aware of the question of origins to question creationism.


Maurice Taieb, co-discoverer of Lucy, was a geologist and CNRS research director attached to the Centre Européen de Recherche et d’Enseignement des Géosciences et de l’Environnement (CEREGE) in Aix-en-Provence.

Doris Barboni is a palynologist and palaeoecologist researcher at the CNRS, specialising in plant microfossils, attached to the CEREGE. She has studied the palaeo-vegetation of several hominid palaeontological sites, notably with Michel Brunet, the discoverer of Abel and Toumaï.

Cécile Gambini is an author and illustrator of children’s books.


Groupe Interdisciplinaire Grand Rift Africain

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