Research into human origins includes looking at the microscopic rings of ancient teeth to drilling deep into the earth to understand climate change over millions of years. Here is a view in to the search for our human origins!
South Africa is known as the "Cradle of Humankind." A great variety of early human-ancestor fossil skeletons have been found there. Along the southernmost coast of South Africa, high cliffs hug a rocky coast. This protected the caves in the cliffs from people and animals who could have disturbed artifacts left by early modern humans from 160,000 to 50,000 years ago.
The science of paleoanthropology begins with discoveries in the field. And it is exciting to find a real fossil! The famous fossil "Lucy" was discovered in 1974 by Donald Johanson in the dusty hills of Hadar, Ethiopia.
I think I found a fossil/artifact! What should I do with it? Answer »
Be part of Ask An Anthropologist
By volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a volunteers page to get the process started.