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The Natural History Museum’s blockbuster exhibition Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story opened to rave reviews last week. The Natural History Museum give five reasons why you shouldn’t miss this exhibition:
- Naked male models! Get up close and personal with a Neanderthal and Homo sapiens (modern human), life-sized models that were created by Dutch artists Alfons and Adrie Kennis. The Neanderthal is modelled on a male in his twenties, whose skeleton was discovered in a cave in Belgian. Neanderthals lived in Britain between 400,000 and 50,000 years ago. Highly intelligent, neanderthals were brave hunters and innovative toolmakers. The Homo sapiens model shows a man in his fifties and is based on evidence from 30,000-year-old remains found at Paviland Cave, South Wales. The exhibition also features graphic recreations of Neanderthal woman and children, as well as Homo sapiens family members.
- Evidence of human cannibalism: See a 14,700-year-old skull cap which shows cut marks where flesh has been removed, a clear sign of early human cannibalistic rituals. Found alongside several others at Gough’s Cave in Somerset, these are the oldest dated skull cups in the world and the only examples known from the UK.
- Ancient tools: On display at the exhibition is the 400,000-year-old Furze Platt hand axe, one of the largest stone tools ever found in Europe. Discovered in Maidenhead, just outside London, in 1919, it weighs almost 3kg and is more than 30cm long. Visitors can also marvel at the Clacton spear, one of the oldest wooden tools in the world. The fire-hardened wooden spear was found at Clacton, Essex and is 400,000-years-old.
- Trafalgar Square was once home to hippos! A hippopotamus canine from 125,000,000 years ago was unearthed from Trafalgar Square in 1960. This amazing find is displayed next to other animal fossils and specimens.
- Fascinating fossil facts: Fossil evidence shows that ancient Britons lived alongside and hunted elephants, rhinos and mammoths. See a 500,000-year-old rhino pelvis which is covered in marks that show it was butchered by humans.
Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story is on until 28 September 2014.
More exhibitions in London.