Our core strength lies in field and lab research on key questions and time periods in the emergence of humankind

The Institute of Human Origins is one of the world’s leading centers for research, education, and public outreach on the scientific mission to understand what it means to be human. Now in its fourth decade of research and discovery, the institute remains at the forefront of the creation of knowledge about our origins.

Director's Message

Our species, Homo sapiens, is an oddity among the life forms on this planet.


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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, IHO pursues an integrative strategy for research and discovery central to its 30-year-old founding mission, bridging 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.