1984 April 13 - 1984 September 9
"Ancestors: Four Million Years of Humanity" was an exhibition featuring more than 50 of the most historically and scientifically significant fossils of mankind's evolution. Among the fossils on display were the "Taung child" of South Africa; Mary and Louis Leakey's two million-year-old Zinjanthropus and Homo habilis from Olduvai Gorge; the original Pithecanthropus or "ape-man" of Java; the earliest and the latest Neanderthals, and the Heidelberg jaw. Among the prehuman fossils were Aegyptopithecus, Dryopithecus, and Silvapithecus. The exhibition included the 3.6 million-year-old mandible of the oldest known hominid, Australopithecus afarensis. Stone tools were exhibited with the fossils to document cultural development in the human line. Ian Tattersall, the then-Curator of physical anthropology at the Museum, was the curator of the exhibit. 25 institutions provided contributions. Dr. Fidel Masao, director of the National Museum of Tanzania, was one of the participants. The exhibition was supported by the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the National Science Foundation and the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation. The exhibit was on view on Gallery 1 of the American Museum of Natural History from April 13 through September 9, 1984.
Individuals and institutions involved in the creation of the exhibition: Ian Tattersall; AMNH Department of Anthropology.
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