Ancestors Virtual Tour

The Ancestors virtual tour brings our museum home to visitors who cannot come in person due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Normally, the museum hosts hundreds of school children for a free field trip sponsored by the museum.  Most come from Title I schools and couple their visit to the Museum with an opportunity to tour a university campus. With the generous support of the Frank C. Hibben Trust, the museum was able to produce the virtual tour for at-home learning. Developed as a guided “conversational narrative,” the film takes visitors through the exhibit and provides a close-up look at artifacts and fossil casts on display or in the museum’s collections. As the only exhibition on human evolution in the State of New Mexico, both the physical exhibition and the virtual tour introduce students to the research methods and approaches of biological anthropology, focusing as much on how researchers learn about biological evolution and cultural change, as about the facts of human evolution.  Led by the Director of the Museum, with supplemental laboratory tours from the Maxwell Museum osteology lab manager and faculty with the UNM Department of Anthropology, objects, places and ideas featured in the film are put into context, revealing their meaning about the origin and evolution of the human species. Supplemental footage of wild chimpanzees shows how field research of species today give us clues into our distant evolutionary past.