Human Evolution

Modern human and Neanderthal model

How to find this gallery

Useful links

Gallery announcements

Access at South Kensington

Eat, drink and shop

Meet your ancient relatives, trace the origins and evolution of our species, and explore what makes us human.

Embark on a seven-million-year journey, from the first hominins to the last surviving human species: us.

Investigate what defines a hominin and how much we modern humans have in common with other human species, as well as what sets us apart.

Along the way you will discover the changes in physical characteristics, diet, lifestyles and environments that have shaped modern humans.

'It's fantastic to see such extremely good reproductions of important new fossil discoveries like Ardi and Homo floresiensis, as well as the latest groundbreaking research into the ancient human occupation of Britain, embedded in this gallery.'  - Dr Alice Roberts

Star specimens and exhibits

  • 3.5-million-year-old Laetoli canine, the oldest hominin fossil in the Museum's collection
  • Gibraltar 1 skull, the first adult Neanderthal skull ever found
  • skull and hand casts of the recently discovered human species, Homo naledi
  • scientifically accurate life-size Neanderthal and early Homo sapiens models
  • 420,000-year-old Clacton spear, the oldest preserved wooden spear in the world
  • Cheddar Man skeleton and fascinating insights into the cultural practices of early modern humans in Britain, including a human skull shaped into a cup

Audio descriptive guide

Download an audio descriptive guide to the Human Evolution gallery:

Galleries and Museum map

Discover what you can see and do in our other galleries, and find out how to get around with our Museum map.

Explore human evolution

Museum research and collections are helping to answer where, when and how humans evolved.

Sign up for emails about events, exhibitions, offers and more