the national museum is located in the premises of the old house of Prince Mekonen, son of Emperor Haile Sellasie I about half way between Arat Kilo and Sidist Kilo. The centerpiece of the impressive collection of the museum is undoubtedly the 3.2 million year old australopithecine fossil Lucy (locally dubbed Dinkinesh meaning “you are amazing” in Amharic) who was recently returned to Ethiopia after a lengthy tour abroad. The exhibit is complemented by newly installed large television screens which give visitors further information on the different fossils of early human ancestors discovered in Ethiopia.
Archeological finds which date back all the way to the pre-Axumite era are also to be found inside the museum with the seated-woman sculpture being the most noteworthy but the stone carvings of ancient South-Arabian scripts are also impressive. The museum also holds other archeological marvels such as old lamps, coins and vases from the Axumite period.
Thrones, crowns and weapons of famous Kings and Emperors such as Menelik II, Yohannes and Tewodros adorn the rest of the ground floor while the upper levels are dominated by cultural artefacts such as musical instruments, famous paintings, household and farming utensils as well as handcraft pieces which provide tourists with insight into the nature of the Ethiopian lifestyle and tradition. After a worthwhile visit before heading up towards Sidist Kilo you can have a drink or a delicious meal for lunch at Lucy’s within the National Museum’s compound. They recently have opened a traditional restaurant with live music which you can wind up during the night.