Today, yet again, I have sad news to report. Once again, in 2022 we have another great paleoanthropologist that has been lost to the annals of age and time. Last night, word spread that we lost Dr. Yves Coppens. A French paleoanthropologist, who in his home country is known as the discoverer of the Lucy skeleton, known as the “father” of Lucy.
Truth be told, to make clear the issue where you may be wondering, did Dr. Don Johanson not discover Lucy? The story is, that Dr. Coppens was the director of the field site for years, before the discovery of Lucy. Once he retired from the position and was no longer the leader of the expedition, Don came in, and in 1974 made the Lucy discovery.
Despite this, Coppens played a major role in the management and direction of the site. It is very clear and important to understand that Lucy may not have ever been discovered had the work that Dr. Coppens had done, had not been done.
A former professor at the College De France, which is considered to be the most prestigious scientific establishment in France, and in 2014 was named an Ordinary Member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences by Pope Francis. Having 4 doctorates, and belonging to dozens of scientific organizations across Europe, let us not forget the many awards that he achieved during his career.
Leading an incredibly interesting, and well-lived life, Dr. Coppens will be missed dearly by his loved ones, colleagues, and those that he leaves behind.
His work, however, will live on and continue to inform us about the history of our early Human Origins.
May the Coppens family have the peace and quiet that they need to heal and recover from this great loss, and we from the World of Paleoanthropology send them our best, and sincerest wishes.