Human Origins Slide Show

  • Anthropocene: The Age of Humans

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  • Interactive Timeline

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  • Digital Collection

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  • Adventures in the Rift Valley

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  • Support Our Work

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  • Hall of Human Origins

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What's Hot in Human Origins?

What Does It Mean To Be Human?

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The Scientist is In: Benjamin Utting

The Scientist is In: Robert Kaplan

HOT (Human Origins Today) Topic: CANCELLED

image of Homo floresiensis; LB1, skeleton

'Hobbits' on Flores, Indonesia

New digs and geological dating in Liang Bua Cave, Indonesia, show that Homo floresiensis, nicknamed the “hobbit” for its small size, became extinct around 50,000 years ago – tens of thousands of years earlier than originally thought.

Image of catwalk around the site of Olorgesailie.

Olorgesailie, Kenya

Fieldwork at Olorgesailie, Kenya, seeks to understand the life and times of early humans in the East African Rift Valley over the past 1 million years.

Virtual Dig

Teachers Forum

Are you interested in joining a discussion forum exclusively for educators involved in teaching human evolution? We encourage you to participate in our Teachers Forum and share your insights, questions, best practices, and experiences with other like-minded educators.

Human Evolution:
Religious Perspectives

The Hall of Human Origins offers a welcoming place to explore one of the most exciting areas of science, the study of human evolution. Despite strong public interest in the science, however, many people find this topic troubling when viewed from a religious perspective. Representatives of diverse religious communities encourage a larger, more respectful understanding of both the scientific evidence and religious belief.

Featured Multimedia

Rock or stone tool

How To Tell a Rock from a Stone Tool

How can you tell if a rock is actually an early stone tool? Watch this video to find out.

 

Video Thumbnail of Rick Potts from "Designing the Exhibition"

Designing the Exhibition

This video takes you behind-the-scenes into the process of designing and building the Smithsonian's Hall of Human Origins.

Fun Facts

When our back molars are impacted in our jaw, they don’t seem very wise! They’re the last teeth to come into place, and having them was helpful to our early ancestors who ate tough, uncooked foods that wore away their teeth. But with cooking and making food softer, the size of our jaws has diminished, often with room for the last molars to form in the jaw…but – ouch! – not enough room to erupt.