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  • Human Evolution – The Story Of Us

    By Nicholas J Booth, on 27 February 2014

    Ever wanted to meet your ancestor?

    Ever wanted to meet your ancestor?

    On Friday 7th March the Rock Room (1st Floor Corridor, South Wing, UCL) will host a special pop-up exhibition featuring rarely seen objects from UCL’s Biological Anthropology Collection, and in particular their collection of early hominin fossil casts.

    UCL’s Biological Anthropology Collection is held by (unsurprisingly) the Biological Anthropology Section of the Anthropology Department. Biological anthropology focuses on the study of primate ecology and evolution, including the study of human evolution.

    In order to study and teach these subjects the department has built up a wonderful collection of over 2,000 bones, casts of bones and fossils, ancient tools and other types of objects (which I like to think of as ‘misc’). These are stored in the department and heavily used in teaching, helping students to bring the subject (back) to life.


    Specimen of the Week: Week 122

    By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 10 February 2014

    It’s Valentine’s Day this week! I don’t subscribe to the modern idea that Valentine’s Day is a commercial farce designed to make you pay three times the price for one ‘romantic dinner’ out and 20 times the normal price for a rose of a specific colour. Well ok those are true, but Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to comprise either. Personally, I am REALLY hoping that this year someone loves me enough to get me membership to the British Arachnological Society for V-Day (link supplied in case you’re sufficiently moved, as it isn’t looking likely otherwise). But I’m not too sad as here at the Grant Museum I am surrounded by love. Such as in my choice of super lovey specimen this week! This Week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)

    How to tell an archaeologist from a palaeontologist

    By Mark Carnall, on 18 September 2012

    This post is something of a PSA to address a pet peeve of mine, the general confusion in the media about the difference between scientists working in biology and archaeology. Here’s a recent example of ‘archaeologists’ puzzling over Paleocene mammal remains. Puzzle they may because they’re literally 50 million years out of their depth. I doubt this post will really change anything and archaeologists will be digging up dinosaurs in press releases and science articles for many years to come particularly seeing as others have already covered this annoying and lazy habit that journalists, presumably covering the science desk vacation period, can’t seem to shake.

    So, as you might expect a joke to go, what is the difference between an archaeologist and palaeontologist? (more…)

    In Stone – Conservation and Stonework

    By Debbie J Challis, on 23 March 2011

    On March 10, the Petrie Museum hosted In Stone: Egyptian Stonework. The event was a celebration of the work done on recent conservation efforts, funded by the Friends of the Petrie Museum, and the mounting of stone inscriptions. Conservators on hand talked about the conservation process, while two geologists talked about identification and the provenance of Egyptian stone.

    Table with conservation materials onThe geologists set up a microscope to look at thin sections of stone and other stone samples, along with geological maps and fossils. Another table at the event exhibited special labels about the six large stones that were conserved recently by Clivden Conservation – which gave a behind the scenes look at how the stones were restored. Guests who attended were intrigued by these concepts and enjoyed informal conversation throughout making this a very successful event.

    Thank you to the Friends of Petrie, our Petrie Staff, as well as Eric Miller (formerly from British Museum, currently teaches at City of Guilds), Dr. Ruth Siddall (UCL Earth Sciences), and Dr. Charlie Underwood (Birkbeck College).

    Danielle Payton