The Department of Anthropology houses five museum collections containing hundreds of specimens, fossils and artifacts. The collections are used daily in teaching, research and community outreach programs, and advance the study of humans — particularly their origin, their behaviour and their physical, social and cultural development.
We recently had an opportunity to tour the Fossil Hominid Cast Collection, which was developed over 40 years and contains 500 fossil replicas of non-human primate ancestors, as well as all of the major (and many minor) examples of fossils attributed to the human ancestral lineages. The collection is used to teach biological anthropology and human origins.
Fossils date from the Paleocene to the Holocene, and represent specimens from around the globe. Some of the collection’s most significant fossils include a complete reconstruction of Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy) from Hadar, Ethiopia; the Nariokotome Homo erectus boy skeleton; the infamous La Chapelle skull; the Cromagnon skull; and Peking man skulls. Click on the thumbnails below to get a small snapshot of this educational and interesting collection.
The Department of Anthropology collections are open to the public by appointment, and are a great opportunity to get up close and personal with items that help us understand where we came from.
You can also see photos from our tour of the Bryan/Gruhn Ethnographic Collection here.
Fossil Hominid Cast Collection photos were taken with permission from the Department of Anthropology and Museums and Collections Services. Photo captions were provided by curator Pamela Mayne Correia.