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John Gurche's "Shaping Humanity"

Paleoartist John Gurche's sculptures of early human likenesses are on view at the Smithsonian's Hall of Human Origins.
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Paleoartist John Gurche’s reconstructions span more than six million years of human evolution. (John Gurche, “Shaping Humanity”)
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Paleoartist John Gurche’s reconstructions span more than six million years of human evolution. (John Gurche, “Shaping Humanity”)

Reconstructions begin with a cast of a skull. Unlike dissection, the artist works from the inside out, layer by layer. (John Gurche, “Shaping Humanity”)
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Reconstructions begin with a cast of a skull. Unlike dissection, the artist works from the inside out, layer by layer. (John Gurche, “Shaping Humanity”)

The artist takes cues from the fossilized skull and knowledge of human and ape anatomy to create forensically accurate models. (John Gurche, “Shaping Humanity”)
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The artist takes cues from the fossilized skull and knowledge of human and ape anatomy to create forensically accurate models. (John Gurche, “Shaping Humanity”)

This small human-like creature, Australopithecus afarensis, lived 3.2 million years ago and walked upright on two feet. (John Gurche, ”Shaping Humanity")
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This small human-like creature, Australopithecus afarensis, lived 3.2 million years ago and walked upright on two feet. (John Gurche, ”Shaping Humanity")

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