Section 1


Outline of Human Phylogeny

Evolutionary Trees
and DNA

Brain Evolution

Hand and Bipedality

Section 2
Social and socio-
cultural systems

Primate societies

Social relations and the evolution of culture

Social relations, communication and cognition

Human socio-cultural patterns

Tools and symbolic behaviour

Palaeolithic Art

Contemporary hunter-gatherer art

Section 3
Ontogeny and symbolism

Editorial Introduction: Ontogeny & Phylogeny

The role of ontogenesis

Brain, cognition, and language

Early interaction and cognitive skills

Language and thought

Theories of symbolization
and development

Children's drawings and the evolution of art

Section 4
Language systems

Spoken language and
sign language

The gestural primacy hypothesis

Comparative cognition

Animal language and cognition

Language acquisition


The prehistory of grammar

Writing systems


Links Policy

Relevant Links

Photogallery of fossil skulls

This photogallery of fossil hominid skulls provides views of some of the key specimens and morphological changes discussed in the Handbook. Two other excellent sources for photos are Michael Day's (1986 edition) Guide to fossil man (University of Chicago Press) and Eric Delson's (1995) Ancestors: the hard evidence (Alan R. Liss, New York).

Hominid taxonomy is seemingly in a perpetual state of flux. Some notes alerting the reader to major classifactory changes are provided in the introductory chapter by Campbell, the editorial appendices to Holloway's chapter, and the epilogue chapter by Peters. Both the stability and the change characteristic of palaeoanthropology over the past few decades are testimony to the field's maturation.


Copyright restrictions prevent us reproducing any of the Handbook illustrations of key specimens here. The following thumbnail sketches will link you to images collated by Jim Foley at his Fossil Hominids pages in the Talk.Origins Archive. Click on any picture for a larger version

  • Chimpanzee, Gorilla
  • Sts 5, Stw53, OH 24, ER 1813
  • Java Man, Peking Man, ER 1470
  • ER 3733, WT 15000, Petralona, Rhodesian Man

Note that this caption to the figures identifies each specimen, not each species. So what is 'OH 24' or 'ER 1813' and so on? There is no one convention adopted universally for identifying individual specimens. 'OH 24' results from the field notes of the fossil finder, who listed it as 'Olduvai (place found) Hominid (its a hominid, not just a primate), specimen number 24: 'ER 1813' is a shorthand for 'KNM-ER 1813', Kenya National Museuem (where the original is kept) East Rudolf (where it was found) 1833 (catalogue number of the specimen in the museum's collection.

See also the animated skull collection at the American Museuem of Natural History