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By: San Diego Museum of Man

The Museum's West Wing houses our fabulous anthropology exhibit, Footsteps Through Time: Four Million Years of Human Evolution. The permanent exhibit - covering 7,000 square feet and featuring five galleries and more than a hundred touchable replicas of early humans, primates, and futuristic cyborgs (part human, part machine) - officially opened to the public on February 9, 2002.

This compelling exhibit is the only one of its kind on the West Coast. It transports visitors on a fascinating 65-million-year journey through time, spotlighting the major anthropological finds relating to human evolution.

The exhibition begins with Primate Hall, where guests can compare their hands, feet, and brains to those of other primates, immerse themselves in chimp culture, and see Mbongo representing the nearly extinct Mountain Gorilla. The adjacent Hominid Hall showcases a variety of intriguing dioramas, including a Neandertal burial from more than 60,000 years ago depicted exactly as it was discovered by archaeologists, a Cro-Magnon exhibit featuring a replica of Chauvet Cave in France (home of the world's oldest cave paintings), and a touchable reproduction of Kenyanthropus platyops, the latest find by the renowned archaeologists Meave and Louise Leakey.

The third stop is the mind-boggling Time Tunnel, traversing millions of years and chronicling 200 of the most significant human technological breakthroughs. Next, visitors can marvel at the Human Lab, offering a rare glimpse of the future of human evolution as influenced by the inventions of gene selection and cloning. The final stop is the hands-on Dig Site, where visitors can roll up their sleeves and learn the proper methods for digging up a prehistoric dire wolf, look for the Laeotoli footprints, and determine the implications of modern finds for future archaeologists.

Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

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