One million years of human life at the Natural History Museum
A brand new exhibition that explores one million years of human life in Britain will be at the Natural History Museum from Thursday February 13th to Sunday September 28th. The exhibition is the culmination of 12 years of research carried out by a number of scientists. The exhibits tell the story of how Britain has changed since prehistoric times.
Full-size models and the latest scientific technologies will help bring life to rarely seen specimens. Exhibits going on display for the very first time will include the Clacton spear, which is the oldest wooden spear in the world, as well as the Swanscombe skull, which belonged to the earliest known Neanderthal in Britain. The exhibition will take you on a journey back in time to before the Romans, Saxons and Vikings invaded Britain.
It aims to piece together how humans came to Britain over the last million years. Britons today are the descendants of those who made the tenth attempt to re-populate our country. This final effort was made ‘only’ 12,000 years ago. Compared to Africans, Australians and Europeans, Britons are one of the younger populations of the world. It is believed that humans first came to Britain approximately 900,000 years ago.
At least four different species of humans have existed during that time. Scientists have been exploring questions such as why humans outlived other species and how climate change is going to affect their survival in the future. Professor Chris Stringer, a palaeontologist and the Natural History Museum’s world-leading human origins researcher, said: “From the earliest human fossils in Britain to one of the oldest wooden tools in the world, you will be surprised by the history hidden beneath your feet. The story behind the humans who inhabited ancient Britain has taken us more than a decade to piece together. This gives us an exciting glimpse into our past, which also leads us to reflect on our future.”The Natural History Museum is accessible via the Tube for visitors travelling to the exhibition from London hotels.