Exhibition| Evolution

Early Human Behaviour

From the deep sea to outer space - our species has traveled far and left its mark on our planet. But what separates us from all other species? How did we get the qualities that enabled us to explore the world around us?

Bilde fra Blombos-hulen
THE FIRST DRAWINGS: The pattern on the stones dating back 100,000 years is probably the oldest signs of symbolic use ever found. This finding may suggest that symbols have been in use since mankind began to use tools
Magnus Haaland, UiB

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In the new exhibition "Early human behavior" at the University Museum, you can get the answers to these questions and experience the history of our species in a completely new way.

In the exhibition, we join an interdisciplinary, international research team from the SapienCE center at the University of Bergen to the coast of the southern tip of Africa. Here they are looking for answers to some of these riddles - answers that could potentially rewrite the earliest history of man.

Findings from several archaeological sites, including Blombos Cave in South Africa, suggest that there was a tipping point in early human development around 100,000 to 70,000 years ago. These findings show signs of increased innovation, complex behavior and symbolic thinking and indicate that what we consider normal human behavior today may have originated much earlier than expected – in Africa, not Europe.

Earlier complex behaviour

In the exhibition, you can follow the SapienCE team's interdisciplinary process from excavation to knowledge production. You will gain insight into how archaeology, psychology and climatology are combined to create new understanding. The findings are examined in detail, layer by layer, site by site, in a way that has never been done before.

By taking a holistic approach, the findings show that the people who lived in the African Mesolithic had more complex behaviors than previously thought. Through the exhibition "Early human behaviour", the researchers open a window to the past that can allow us to rediscover the beginning of human history. With this holistic approach, SapienCE can give us ground-breaking knowledge about the various aspects of what it means to be human.

The Center for Early Sapiens Behavior (SapienCE) aims to provide increased understanding of when and how Homo sapiens evolved into modern humans. You can read more about the center here.

The exhibition has been created in collaboration between the University Museum in Bergen and SapienCE.

Tickets, opening times and practical information at universitetsmuseet.no.