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Osteological and Cast Collection


The Department of Human Evolution curates osteological collections and a cast collection for the study and comparison of human, extant primate, fossil hominin and zooarcheological remains.

The osteological collection is composed of the Taï chimpanzee collection including individuals of known sex and age that primatologists from our institute have observed when living in their natural habitat in the Taï National Forrest, Ivory Coast, as well as a comparative animal bone collection of over 50 mostly complete individuals including roe deer, red deer, wild boar and pig. Since 2011, we have also housed the Garschke collection (permanent loan) including 135 faunal skulls from birds, reptiles and mammals from all over the world.

We are equipped for the processing, conservation, and analyses of osteological as well as soft tissue materials, with facilities including: fume hood, osteometric equipment, microscopes, 3-D digitiser, digital camera, ageing and sexing casts, graded sieves, sample preparation and conservation materials, and comparative specimens.

Furthermore, we hold an extensive collection of casts from institutions worldwide. Reflecting the research interests of our department, casts of Neanderthals, early modern humans, early Homo individuals and earlier hominins like Au. sediba make up a large portion of the cast collection. Visiting students and researchers may gain access to cast materials by contacting the Department of Human Evolution.