On the Edge of Discovery

The leading center for the science of human origins

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The Institute of Human Origins is one of the preeminent research organizations in the world devoted to the science of human origins

A research center of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (link is external), IHO pursues an integrative strategy for research and discovery central to our founding mission. We bridge social, earth, and life science approaches to the most important questions concerning the course, causes, and timing of events in the human career over deep time.

IHO fosters awareness of human origins and its relevance to modern society through innovative outreach programs that provide timely, accurate information for both educators and the general public.

Learn about Lucy

Learn about the Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, "Lucy," discovered in Hadar, Ethiopia on November 24, 1974
Lucy's Story

Know the facts

Want to know more about the Institute of Human Origins? Explore our facts page to learn about our history, funding, faculty, students, and more!
Factsheet

Upcoming Trips and Events

Grand Canyon rafting

Grand Canyon River Rafting Expedition
May 26–June 2, 2019

Are you ready to go? Float the Colorado River though the Grand Canyon with the ASU Institute of Human Origins!

IHO has secured two boats for a week-long trip down the Colorado River guided by two ASU geologists—Chris Campisano PhD and Ramon Arrowsmith, PhD.

The trip will begin at Lee's Ferry and travel on quiet, motorized rafts from mile 0 to mile 187, where you will helicopter out to return to your car at Lee’s Ferry or catch a small plane back to the airport in Las Vegas. Reserve your spot today!

Cave Paintings

The Fat of the Land: What Ancient Bones tell us about the Origin of the Human Diet

with Jessica Thompson PhD
Friday, November 9, 2018 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm The Metropolitan Club, NYC
Price: $200

You are invited to join the Institute of Human Origins (IHO) Research Council, Director William Kimbel, and Founding Director Donald Johanson for a lively and engaging evening at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.

RSVP Now

Outreach

From our very beginning, the Institute of Human Origins focused one "leg" of our mission on public outreach. Our founding members believe that scientists are the best interpreters of their own research for the public. Our research is human history, and we believe that sharing the story of how we "became human" with the public is as important as sharing the science.

Becoming human website
Ask An Anthropologist website

Becoming Human

Becoming Human is a Webby award-winning and American Association for the Advancement of Science approved website, and one of the ways we teach paleoanthropological science to online users of all ages.

Ask An Anthropologist

Inspired by Ask A Biologist and our Webby-award winning website Becoming Human, Ask An Anthropologist aspires to build an online community of science and social studies educators focused on middle- and high-school learners.

Many resources on the web provide facts about how we became human, but we provide classroom teachers with curricular tools and content that engage young people in human origins and scientific methods.

Find answers to such questions as—

News

Why and when did humans begin to rely on culturally transmitted information? Does culture allow humans to adapt to a wide range of ecological habitats?

Understanding the relationship between Earth history and human evolution is an enduring challenge of broad scientific and public interest.

Amy Jacobson, an Arizona State University alumna and evolutionary anthropologist, is taking to the big screen this month in a feature film about climate change, energy and the future of humanity na

Subscribe

Subscribe to our email and print newsletters for updates on IHO projects, research, and new developments in human origins science.

We promise to keep our emails to a minimumjust enough to keep you informed. We will never share or sell any info you provide here.

Why do we need your location?

We ask for your country and state to make sure our stories are specifically tailored to you, and so that we know which parts of the world we're reaching.

If you also choose to provide your street address we will send you information about events in your area, and the occasional giveawaylike stickers, magnets, or temporary tattoos—to thank you for your support.

What if you want to unsubscribe?

To unsubscribe, just follow the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of your most recent email from us, or email iho@asu.edu with the subject line "Unsubscribe."