Over the past 25 years, a stream of fossil and artifact discoveries in the Afar Depression of Ethiopia has produced the longest single record of human ancestors in the world. Many of the fossils found in this region are the missing links leading to modern humans. Adventures in the Bone Trade chronicles the exploration of this unique desert area, focusing especially on the 1970s when the valley was mapped and many fossils and archeological sites were discovered. The author gives his personal account of the 25 years he spent researching the region.
Part I: geological formation of the Afar, earth sciences revolution and its focus on the Afar, the authors interest in the region
Part II: the author's first trip to the Afar, geographical setting and formation of team to explore, further explorations and Lucy
Part III: early geologists exploration, first rivalries, famine, and life of the Afar nomads
Part IV: political upheaval, treasure map to fossils, further political upheaval and effect on research, discovery of Bodo Skull
Part V: Somali invasion, conflicts between research and politics, colonization of Ethiopia
Epilogue: recent discoveries, return to Ethiopia, the next generation of explorers