Visual and Tactile Comparisons
The exhibition’s 12 bronze skulls of Homo sapiens, our hominid ancestors and our nearest living animal relative, the chimpanzee, were cast by a team of sculptors in Pennsylvania under the supervision of George Mummert and Sean Bradley.
The Peabody’s Preparator Michael Anderson participated in the wax pattern stage of this process. Bronze is the perfect material to represent these specimens: in use for thousands of years, its enduring qualities eliminate the need for the glass cases that protect both real fossils and objects cast in plaster and resins, making visitor interaction with these famous specimens possible. Anderson elaborates, “People can touch and compare each pair of skulls to get a visceral impression of the morphological differences between them, from the brain case to the facial structure and teeth.”
Touchable bronze skulls of 6 Homo sapiens skulls, each paired with a hominid ancestor or, in one case, our nearest living animal relative, the chimpanzee, provide both a visual and tactile comparison of the specimens they represent.