Our early human ancestors

What do we know about early humans? 

Museum scientists are studying early humans, in Britain, Gibraltar and North Africa and testing the time scale of human migrations.

How did Ancient Britons adapt to their environment?

Scientists are part of a  project uncovering archaeological evidence of the oldest human occupation of northern Europe, at Pakefield in Suffolk, dating from about 700,000 years ago.

Since 2005 the Museum has taken a leading role in the second phase of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project (AHOB)

AHOB is a large collaboration investigating the animal and early human records of Britain and Europe over the past million years.

In those million years Britain regularly suffered extreme changes of environments, flora and fauna. Human populations during this time apparently failed to cope with these changes, and on at least seven occasions they vanished completely.

AHOB is funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

  • Neanderthal tools
    Studying Neandethals in Gibraltar

    Museum scientists are looking at evidence from the island’s caves, which is uncovering interesting new details of Neanderthal life.

  • DNA sequence
    Tracing our evolution through genetics

    Museum scientists are working with specialists testing how DNA data can help to time events in human evolution.

  • Volcanic dust
    Using volcanic dust for accurate dating

    Find oout more about how microscopic dust is providing evidence about the origins of modern humans in North Africa.

  • Museum scientist Chris Stringer holding a hominid skull
    Human evolution

    How did we separate from the other great apes, and where did modern humans first evolve? Find out and discover the Museum's extensive work in this fascinating field.