Inklings of early man


The new David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D. C. explores the history of human evolution over millions of years as our ancestors adapted to a changing world. Here’s a look at some of the items on view.
Via Wall Street Journal.

And here is the website for the exhibition.

I’d love to see this exhibition. One thing that strikes me, though, from looking at sculptures and reconstructions made for this exhibition on the website is that they are all very rough guesses at what our ancestors may have looked like, and not definitive at all, yet rendered in a level of detail that the scientific material does not warrant. Since we are spoiled with films and TV-productions of high detail and computer generated graphics, we want to see such detailed images at this kind of exhibition, and the people behind it have decided to go for an ultra-realistic look, much like modern science fiction and fantasy films, and I can understand why. What kid today, spoiled from our exaggerated and highly detailed graphic environment would be impressed by a tiny broken bone flute?
In fact, the less spectacular items on display are the most interesting: artefacts, like the bone flute, faded cave painting fragments, tools and jewelry tell us that these people were very much like us, and that they were occupied with similar intellectual activities. I fear that the Hollywood-like contemporary constructions at this exhibit will look outdated in just a few years, much like exhibits on natural history from the 50’s and 60’s look to us today.

Jonas Qvale/Hornorkesteret

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