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The Bone Clones® Fossil Hominid line is composed of discoveries from anatomically modern humans, archaic humans, early Homo, early hominins, and other hominids. The majority of the casts in this line have been recreated by our team of anatomical sculptors in conjunction with our anthropology consultants, using published osteological data. It is always preferable to cast from original specimens—however, original specimens of fossil hominids are rarely available.

Featured in Skulls

Homo antecessor Cranium


936,000 YA. The Homo antecessor cranium was discovered in 1995 by J. M. Bermudez de Castro at the Gran Dolina site in Atapuerca, Spain, and described in Science in 1997. Before the discovery of Homo antecessor, there was no evidence that would substantiate the presence of hominids in Europe before a half million years ago. Fossils and stone tools at least 936,000 years old were found at the Gran Dolina site in Atapuerca. Homo antecessor (brain size over 1,000 cc) possessed characteristics of both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. With the bulky brow and big jaw of the now extinct Neanderthal and the cheekbones and nose of Homo sapiens, the researchers believe they have discovered a missing link that may cause a major reconsideration of human ancestry.

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Homo sapiens Skull Skhul 5


100,000 YA. The Homo sapiens skull Skhul 5 was discovered by T. McCown near Mount Carmel, Israel in 1932. McCown first described the skull in 1936 in the Bulletin American School of Prehistoric Research (Issue 12). The remains of 10 individuals were excavated from Skhul cave in 1932 and are widely considered to be the earliest examples of H. sapiens outside of Africa. The Skhul skulls show much variation in the expression of modern traits. With a cranial capacity of 1520 cc, features common to modern skulls are the high forehead, expanded frontal portion of the braincase, and rounded back of the skull. Differences from modern skulls include its more pronounced brow ridges, and prognathic lower face. Skhul 5 has been suggested as providing evidence of hybridization between humans and Neanderthals. Current evidence indicates that Neanderthals and early modern Homo sapiens alternately occupied the Near East during cold and warm periods, respectively, for thousands of years. 2-part skull (separate cranium & jaw).

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Dmanisi Homo erectus Skull 5


1.7 MYA. This specimen, one of five individuals found in the same area, provides a glimpse of early human development, within group variation, and hominin migration patterns. Dmanisi D4500 (cranium)/D2600 (mandible) is believed to be a Homo erectus adult male and is the most complete skull found at the Dmanisi site. This individual possesses a collection of skull features that expands the range of variation in the Dmanisi sample; large flaring zygomatic arches (cheekbones) which indicate large chewing muscles, a large prognathic face with thick eyebrow ridges, large molars and an interior cranial volume of 546 cc. This early Homo specimen provides evidence of how the adult Homo face was oriented and positioned in relation to the size of the braincase. The architecture of Dmanisi Skull 5 indicates that small brained, large prognathic faces were part of the normal range of variation in early Homo.

2-part skull (separate cranium & jaw).

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Ardipithecus ramidus Skull BH-039

4.4 MYA. Ardipithecus ramidus was discovered by Tim White and associates in 1994 in the Afar region of Ethiopia. The partial skeleton ARA-VP-6/500 is now considered by many to be the oldest skeleton of a supposed human ancestor. The sculpted recreation is based on the published photos in Science Magazine, data from scientific papers including photos, and documentaries. The discovery team's examination of the pelvis indicates that this species was able to walk upright, not with the same fluidity of later humans or even 'Lucy' but with much more efficiency than chimpanzees. However, the lower part of the pelvis offers evidence that the species possessed the musculature required for tree-climbing. The bones of the wrist indicate, according to the discovery team, that while moving quadrupedally, weight was placed on the palms of the hands rather than on the knuckles. White and associates hypothesize that Australopithecus is a descendant of Ardipithecus, while others hypothesize that Ardipithecus might be an extinct sister species to Lucy's genus. 2-part skull (separate cranium & jaw).

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Homo sapiens idaltu BOU-VP-16/1 Herto Cranium BH-045

160,000/154,000 YA. BOU-VP-16/1 was discovered in Herto, Middle Awash, Ethiopia, in 1997 by an international team led by researchers from UC Berkeley. This adult cranium with a cranial capacity of 1450cc is nearly complete with only slight distortion. Discoverers White et al. describe the morphology as intermediate between earlier archaic African forms, such as Bodo and Kabwe, and later Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH). It is on this basis that they view it as a probable immediate ancestor of AMHs and designate the subspecies name idaltu ("elder"). Many investigators instead include Herto directly within our own taxon H. sapiens sapiens. For many researchers this find lends strong support to the hypothesis that AMHs emerged in Africa ("Out of Africa") and eventually replaced other populations including the Neanderthals with little interbreeding. Herto was found in association with both Acheulean and Middle Stone Age tools. Interestingly, Clark et al. report that this cranium along with the other two discovered (another adult and a 6-7 year old child) show evidence of postmortem defleshing consistent with deliberate mortuary practice rather than cannibalism.

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