Wanting to understand who we are, where we come from and how we evolved is part of what makes us human.
This an exciting time to be examining human evolution. Intriguing fossil and archaeological discoveries, combined with innovative techniques and DNA research, are transforming scientists' understanding of our ancient past.
We now know of more than 20 hominin species that are part of our family tree. At least half of these species are based on fossils unearthed in the last 30 years.
Museum scientists are at the forefront of research on the migration, characteristics and capabilities of these early human relatives, and the origin and cultural development of our species, Homo sapiens.
Trace the evolution of humans since our lineage split from that of chimpanzees, explore what we have in common with our ancient relatives and discover research that is helping to answer questions about our past and future.
How humans evolved
Early human family tree
Meet some of the members of your human family tree.