Meet the great, great, Great Britons at the Natural History Museum’s new exhibition.
The Swanscombe skull, from the earliest known Neanderthal in Britain, and the Clacton spear, the oldest wooden spear in the world, are just some of the incredible objects from Britain’s past that will go on show for the first time in Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story – opening 13 February 2014.
Remarkable finds from sites such as Kents Cavern in Devon, Pontnewydd in North Wales and Happisburgh in Norfolk will take you back nearly one million years to uncover what life was really like for our ancient relatives.
Drawing on 12 years’ of research by an extended network of scientists, led by the Natural History Museum, this new exhibition tells the enchanting story of the changing faces and spaces of prehistoric Britain. The latest scientific techniques and life-size models bring rarely seen specimens to life so you can look back, long before the Romans, Saxons and Vikings, to piece together how humans came and went in Britain over the last million years.
Professor Chris Stringer, palaeontologist and world-leading human origins researcher at the Natural History Museum comments: ‘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.’
Britain has one of the richest yet underappreciated records of early human history in the world. While human fossils are rare, ancient Britons left behind tools and animal bones in river deposits and caves that reveal tantalising details of their behaviour and way of life. By analysing this trail of evidence, a 50-strong team of archaeologists, palaeontologists and geologists from more than 20 research institutions have collaborated to unlock the secrets of our ancient past.
See amazing objects unearthed from beneath our feet, many of which have never been on public display before. Come face to face with life-size Neanderthal models and see some of the astonishing creatures that were hunted by early human pioneers, including rhinos and giant deer. Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story brings together the pieces of the puzzle to present the most complete picture of our past.
All images Courtesy of the Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London