Sneak Peek into the Hall of Human Origins at the National Museum of Natural History

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We’re now less than a month away from the March 17 opening of the new David H. Koch Hall of Human origins, and like anyone whose been following its installation progress at the National Museum of Natural History, we’re curious.

The exhibition, “Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human?” will explore the story of our human ancestors. Its features  include a time tunnel that travels through 6 million years of human life and environments; an interactive family tree; an amphitheater show; a lifelike cave vignette (which we got to go see ourselves); and a gallery called “Changing the World,” which specifically explores the human impact on the Earth, and current issues related to climate change.

There will also be several exhibits that showcase current field research about human ancestors.

Luckily, we got a chance to preview some of the items that will be on display throughout the hall, including fossils, sculptures, weapons, jewelry and art.

One of the most striking is a trio of skeletons that show how human shape and size has evolved over time. A recreation of “Lucy,” the famous 3.2 million-year-old skeleton found in Hadar, Ethiopia, stands at only 3 feet 6 inches tall in the middle of the group,. The more modern skeleton on the right, a recreation made from a number of 60,000-year-old skeletons found in France and Israel, seems to tower above her.

See more artifacts in our photo gallery.

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