Human evolution

We comunicate that the Hall of Human evolution is closed due to renovation works.


In this little room are summarized the studies on the origins of the man and its evolution, through the representation of three significant moments of his biological and cultural history.

The starting point is the ancient paleoanthropologist office, provide with books, maps, craniums, prehistoric artistic objects and instruments among which the one invented by Sergio Sorgi at the beginning of XX century.

The first diorama shows a plain beneath a volcano where three Australopithecus are walking: there’s a male one on the back, and, on the front, another male adult, about 1,50 m tall, and a young individual, maybe a female one, about 1,20 m tall. They both hold sticks they picked up for digging or self-defense. The reconstruction is based on the famous discovery of the Laetoli footprints (in Eastern Africa), formed about 3,6 millions years ago on an expanse of volcanic ashes: this finding is one of the most convincing proof of the antiquity of bipedalism.

As we go on in the route, we meet the Neanderthal man, who lived in Europe and Western Asia from 200.000 to 27.000 years ago. The second diorama represents a moment of its everyday life during a damp and less cold phase of the last glacial period. An individual stands bringing an ibex corpse, while another one, sitting outside his shelter, is using a firestone scraper to treat a skin, which he holds still using is his teeth.

The features of the Neanderthalian cranium suggest an adaptation to the cold climates.

On the panel on the left, we can see the full-size reproduction of a part of the painted wall of the Chauvet Cave (Ardèche, France); it dates back to 31.000 years ago and it is one of the most ancient evidences of wall art.