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Scientific Sculptures of the Evolution of Human Faces

Sahelanthropus tchadensis

As part of the Safari zum Urmenschen exhibition (translated as Safari to Early Humans) at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, researchers used forensic technology to reproduce the evolution of the human head, spanning over millions of years. The controversial series of models, highlighting 27 molds of human ancestral faces, were carefully constructed based on discovered skulls, teeth, and tiny bone fragments that date back to about 7 million years ago.

The meticulously sculpted heads are the anthropological products of years of excavation in Africa, Asia, and Europe; thoroughly researched by scientists at Senckenberg Research Institute. Each face tells its own story about the lives of humans in their respective era, including: “where they lived, what they ate, [and] their likely cause of death.” The ancestral gallery presents a look at mankind's physical evolution that has been turned into a video depicting the gradual shift in facial features, which can be viewed below.

Australopithecus afarensis

Australopithecus africanus

Paranthropus aethiopicus

Paranthropus boisei

Homo rudolfensis

Homo ergaster

Homo heidelbergensis

Homo neanderthalensis

Homo floresiensis

via [thinx, Discovery, Dan Petrovic]


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at NBC Universal, Penguin Books, and the Tribeca Film Festival as well as many other independent media companies. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies—anything from foreign art house films to mainstream blockbusters.
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