Image caption: A scene of ancient Britain with early Neanderthals hunting in Swanscombe, Kent.
The last 7 days has seemed to me to be all about ancient humans here at the Museum.
Last Thurday evening, an amazing human-like creature was revealed to the world. Named Ardipithecus ramidus, or Ardi, the female is 4.4 million years old and gives us important clues about early human evolution. The international team of scientists worked for 17 years on Ardi and other finds from the same site, and published 11 papers altogether.
And this week, another team of scientists including those at the Natural History Museum, got funding for the 3rd phase of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project (AHOB). They have found evidence for human occupation in Britain as far back as 700,000 years.
These two projects, are examples of research that bring the fascinating story of human evolution to life. From the relatively recent snapshot of ancient humans in Britain to a possible human ancestor close to the time the human evolutionary branch separated from the common ancestor we share with chimpanzees.