Hominid Series of Five Skulls                                      Links to Homo spaiens

Australopithecus afarensis Cranium -- Australopithecus africanus Cranium -- Homo habilis Cranium -- Homo erectus Cranium -- Neandertal Cranium
1. Australopithecus afarensis
    Cranium 

2. Australopithecus africanus
    
Cranium

3. Homo habilis Cranium

4. Homo erectus Cranium 

5. Neandertal Cranium  
    

 Your Selection 1 through 5 above:
$160 each (less Internet discount of $15) = $145 each      (freight $12)

Same as above with Stand:
$198 each (less Internet discount of $16) = $182 each      (freight $14)
Deduct 10% from the above prices if you order the set of all five.

 

 

 

 


This sculptured series consists of four full size species which represent what the general consensus of authorities in the field believe to be the only known links to Homo sapiens. The fifth in the series, Neandertal man, represents an often disputed link in the lineage to modern man. It is from casts, photographs, published diagrams and text describing these reconstruction's that sculptor Larry Williams has developed this extraordinary Hominid Series.
In The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin made explicit the application of evolution to human faculties. Evolutionary thinking destroyed the creationist debate between monogenists and polygenists; it affirmed human unity but left the question open as to how far back in prehistoric time a common ancestor had been shared, and by what routes the various races had taken to their present adaptions.

Human fossil evidence had begun to enter the picture in the seventeenth century when Isaac de la Payrere, from France, discovered stone tools used by primitive men who, he claimed, lived in the time before Adam. In 1655 his findings and theory were greatly disapproved of and his books publicly burned by Church authorities. Shortly thereafter, human bones began to turn up along with those of extinct animals throughout western Europe. In 1796 Georges Cuvier, the French naturalist, found the remains of ancient mammoths and gigantic reptiles, and soon paleoanthropology was established as a scientific discipline.

In 1856, three years before Darwin propounded his theory of evolution, Neanderthal Man was discovered in Germany's Neander Valley near Dusseldorf. The skeleton possessed a number of peculiar traits that defined them as very ancient, including a low, narrow, sloping forehead, heavy eyebrow ridges, and a deep depression at the root of the nose. This began the long tradition of a club-wielding, uncouth, "caveman" ancestor and the search for a still more primitive "missing link" between man and ape.

The German biologist Ernst Haeckel (1834 - 1919) predicted that the sought after link would be found in a warmer climate such as Africa or southern Asia where the living would be easier than in glaciated Europe. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, a member of the Dutch colonial army, Eugene Dubois, ventured out to Sumatra and Java in the hopes of discovering such a manlike ape. Between 1890 and 1892, Dubois found pieces of "Java Man," now dated to about 800,000 years B.P., that everyone agreed was more apelike than the Neanderthal. This meant that early humans, later named Homo erectus, had been in Asia before Europe. The importance of H. erectus was vastly increased from 1927 to 1937 as more than 40 similar fossils were found in limestone caves at Zhoukoudian, outside of Beijing. Also found were thousands of stone tools and evidence that H. erectus used fire. "Beijing Man" was somewhat like the Java erectus and has been dated at 200,000 to 500,000 years.

Homo erectus and Neanderthals were more manlike than apelike. Then, in South Africa, in 1924, Raymond Dart discovered a real apelike missing link. It was followed by the discovery of similar apelike creatures in Africa, with a brain only slightly bigger than a chimpanzee's. The nose was flat. The jaw dominated the face and the mouth thrusted forward. But the teeth were human like and it had a bit of a forehead. Most importantly, it walked upright! Its spinal cored entered the brain not at the back of the head, like a gorilla's, but at the bottom of the skull, suggesting bipedalism. Although that didn't make it human, it allowed it to fall into the broader category of "hominid." Later termed Australopithecus, these apelike creatures existed 3 million or so years before Java Man.

In all of the fossil finds, however, in the progression from the apelike Australopithecus to the manlike erectus and then Neanderthal man, there was no evidence of where and when anatomically modern humankind first arose. Although it seemed fairly certain that Australopithecus had turned into erectus, and that erectus, after originating in Africa, had then spread around the Old World, the question was: How had erectus turned into Homo sapiens?