What's Hot in Human Origins?
What Does It Mean To Be Human?
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.
AP Biology Curriculum MaterialsAre you an AP Biology teacher? Click here for freely downloadable curriculum materials aligned to the AP learning objectives that use human case studies to teach core evolutionary principles and a resource to help teachers create a comfortable and supportive classroom environment for teaching evolution.
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.
In Ethiopia, archaeologists have found evidence of toolmaking that dates to about 2.6 million years ago! This ancient “tool kit” included stone cores, hammerstones, and sharp flakes. Early humans knew how to use a hammerstone to strike a stone cobble at just the right angle so that sharp flakes flew off the core. These sharp flakes were then used to cut animal hides and butcher meat, while the hammerstone could be used to crack open nuts. Other evidence from Kenya indicates that earlier episodes of tool making may date back to 3.3 million years ago.