Humans in Ancient Britain micro-exhibition

The Great North Museum: Hancock, in Newcastle, is shortly going to have a micro-exhibition about Humans in Ancient Britain with material on loan from the Natural History Museum, which includes the Swanscombe Neanderthal skull between 24 February  and 7 April.

William King had been a curator at the museum and responsible for naming Neanderthals as a separate species, so especially appropriate for this exhibition. Related to the exhibition are a pair of evening talks and pair of family events based around local collections and Palaeolithic Britain in March and April.

Free Evening Talk at the Great North Museum: Hancock
Tuesday 22 March 2016, 18.30
‘Professor William King’s fossil bones and shells: The scientific legacy of a Geordie in Galway!’
Prof. David Harper
Professor of Palaeontology and Principal of Van Mildert College at Durham University

William King was the first person to name a separate species of human when he gave the species name Homo neanderthalensis to Neanderthals at the British Association for the Advancement of Science meeting at Newcastle in 1863. He was a self-educated man from Sunderland who became curator of the Newcastle Museum (later the Hancock Museum) and then a Professor of Geology and Mineralogy at Queen’s College, Galway. King was a controversial figure, both locally, where he fell out with his employers at the Museum, and nationally as part of the debate on evolution and anthropology.  Professor Harper’s talk explores King’s life and legacy.

Please book in advance.  Tickets are free and available from: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/234953

Free Evening Talk at the Great North Museum: Hancock
Wednesday 6 April 2016, 18.30
‘Palaeolithic Britain: one-million years of human prehistory’
Prof. Mark White
Professor in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University

Mark White is a specialist in the Palaeolithic (the Old Stone Age) of Britain and its near neighbours.  He has worked on many of the key sites of early human occupation in Britain and also has an interest in the Victorian antiquarians who first excavated some of these locations.  His talk will follow the early occupation of Britain and the evidence we have about people who have lived here over the last million years.

Please book in advance.  Tickets are free and available from: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/234941

Free Family Activity Day
Thursday 31 March 11 – 3
Collectors Day

A day where we take William King, the former curator of this museum who named Neanderthals as a separate species, as the springboard to thinking about other local collectors. This day will include contributions from amongst others our own curators plus the Natural History Society of Northumbria, the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Free Family Activity Day
Thursday 7 April 11 – 3,
Neanderthal Thursday

with support from archaeologists from Durham University (tbc), the opportunity to discover our collection of human evolution skull replicas and a hand silhouette cave art activity.

For further information contact;
Dr Kate Holden
Assistant Learning Officer
Great North Museum: Hancock
Barras Bridge
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE2 4PT
0191 208 7578

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