Oldest Brazilian fossil found in debris of National Museum

RIO DE JANEIRO — One of the most prized possessions of Brazil's National Museum has been found amid debris after a massive fire on Sept. 2 sent the building up in flames.

Museum director Alexander Kellner told The Associated Press that a fossil named "Luzia" was recuperated.

Kellner said the fossil was broken and that 80 percent of its pieces had been found.

The fossil was discovered during an excavation in 1975 outside of the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte and is among the oldest in the Americas.

It was given the name Luzia in homage to "Lucy," the famous 3.2 million-year-old remains found in Africa.

The National Museum held Latin America's largest collection of historical artifacts, with about 20 million pieces.

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