Wanting to understand who we are, where we come from and how we evolved is part of what makes us human.
This an exciting time to be examining human evolution. Intriguing fossil and archaeological discoveries, combined with innovative techniques and DNA research, are transforming scientists' understanding of our ancient past.
We now know of more than 20 hominin species that are part of our family tree. At least half of these species are based on fossils unearthed in the last 30 years.
Museum scientists are at the forefront of research on the migration, characteristics and capabilities of these early human relatives, and the origin and cultural development of our species, Homo sapiens.
Trace the evolution of humans since our lineage split from that of chimpanzees, explore what we have in common with our ancient relatives and discover research that is helping to answer questions about our past and future.
Latest human evolution news
16 March 2018
Museum archaeologists have helped to uncover clues to the people who lived in North Africa 15,000 years ago.
22 February 2018
Ancient DNA reveals that the British population was all but wiped out and replaced roughly 4,400 years ago.
25 January 2018
A newly-discovered fossil jawbone has revealed that Homo sapiens had already left Africa 180,000 years ago.
10 August 2017
New dating of teeth from a cave in western Sumatra, Indonesia, suggests that modern humans were present in tropical southeast Asia earlier than previously thought.
In collaboration with Google Arts & Culture
Books by Museum evolution experts and friends
By Louise Humphrey and Chris Stringer
By Chris Stringer
By Chris Stringer and Rob Dinnis
By Alice Roberts