The first in a series of posts I will be posing on ‘Stories for the Museum Floor’, exploring the idea of what it is to be human, in anticipation of the #Neanderthals exhibition at Manchester Museum.
In anticipation of Manchester Museum’s forthcoming exhibition Humans in Ancient Britain: Rediscovering Neanderthals, this is the first in a series of posts exploring what it means to be human, and how this is imagined and represented in the museum. The series begins with a look at the evolving ideas around human evolution.
Being Human # 1: Taung Child – The Missing Link
In modern Europe, the popular understanding of what it was to be human, at least until the mid-nineteenth century, was very much conditioned by a biblical interpretation of creation, together with the idea of human superiority that can be traced back to the Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle.
Early modern museums were often philanthropic, looking to publically exhibit and share their collections as an encyclopaedic knowledge, privileging completism and chronology. And by the mid nineteenth century, this complimented the emerging academic disciplines of…
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