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The Research Laboratories of Archaeology (RLA) maintains a collection of fossil casts that include human crania and postcrania as well as nonhuman primates dating from roughly 35 million years BP to present. The collection is available for use to anyone in the Department of Anthropology, Curriculum in Archaeology, and other departments at UNC.

Use of the casts must be scheduled through the RLA with Dr. Heather Lapham ( Please review the Guidelines for Fossil Cast Use prior to making a reservation to borrow them.

We maintain two sets of casts. The larger set may only be used in Alumni Hall, while the other set (reduced in number and coverage) may travel outside of Alumni Hall. For those casts that must remain in Alumni Hall, we prefer to have them used in Alumni 404, the teaching laboratory. To schedule the room, please contact the RLA’s Administrative Manager Barbara Carson ( one month prior to intended dates of use as the casts are often reserved by other classes. Room availability can be limited; if there is a conflict, we will attempt to find an alternate room.

Please remember to review the Guidelines for Fossil Cast Use prior to making a reservation. A meeting to discuss and stage the casts is usually required a few days ahead of their intended use.

Below you will find basic information about each cast, including catalog number, species or genus name, and skeletal element. Text that appears in blue links to a 3D model of the cast. We are currently working to create models for all casts, so please be patient as we continue our efforts. Within the tables, postcrania appear before crania. The casts are then ordered by species and within species by catalog number, which is generally how they are placed on the shelves in each cabinet. You can also download an Excel spreadsheet of the casts listed below that contains more information about each cast, including fossil and cast numbers, alternate species name, fossil date and location (site and country) as well as additional notes.

You might also want to check out ANTH 148: Human Origins’ two online recitations: a) Primate and Human Morphology and b) Fossil Hominins.


Traveling Casts (Cabinets 1 and 2)

2501rp96T Ardipithecus ramidus cranium + mandible
2501rp97T Australopithecus afarensis cranium + mandible
2501rp11T Australopithecus africanus cranium + mandible + endocast
2501rp14T Australopithecus africanus cranium
2501rp3T Homo erectus cranium + mandible
2501rp30T Homo erectus cranium
2501rp81T Homo ergaster cranium + mandible
2501rp98T Homo habilis cranium
2501rp28T Homo rudolfensis cranium
2501rp1T Homo sapiens cranium + mandible
2501rp2T Homo sapiens neanderthalensis cranium + mandible
2501rp99T Paranthropus aethiopicus cranium
2501rp10T Paranthropus robustus cranium
2501rp47T Homo sapiens innominate
2501rp76T Homo sapiens femur
2501rp77T Homo sapiens innominate
2501rp78T Homo sapiens innominate + vertebrae
2501rp79T Homo sapiens innominate + vertebrae
2501rp68T Pan troglodytes femur
2501rp72T Pan troglodytes innominate
2501rp73T Pan troglodytes innominate + vertebrae
2501rp6T Gorilla gorilla cranium + mandible
2501rp7T Gorilla gorilla cranium + mandible
2501rp4T Pan troglodytes cranium + mandible
2501rp5T Papio spp. cranium + mandible
2501rp12T Pongo pygmaeus cranium + mandible

Australopithecines (Cabinet 3)

2501rp16 Australopithecus afarensis innominate
2501rp17 Australopithecus afarensis femur (3 pieces)
2501rp38 Australopithecus africanus femur
2501rp39 Australopithecus africanus humerus
2501rp55 Australopithecus africanus vertebra
2501rp56 Australopithecus africanus radius
2501rp18 Australopithecus africanus innominate
1979rp38 Australopithecus prometheus innominate (illium only)
2501rp53 Australopithecus robustus innominate
2501rp44 Australopithecus robustus innominate (illium only)
2501rp45 Australopithecus robustus talus
2501rp54 Australopithecus spp. radius
2501rp66 Paranthropus boisei humerus
2501rp26 Paranthropus robustus metacarpals (2)
2501rp27 Paranthropus robustus humerus
2501rp27 Paranthropus robustus ulna
2501rp60 Paranthropus robustus femur
2501rp13 Australopithecus afarensis cranium + mandible
2501rp15 Australopithecus africanus cranium + mandible + endocast
2501rp22 Australopithecus africanus maxilla
2501rp40 Australopithecus africanus mandible
2501rp43 Australopithecus africanus mandible
2501rp52 Australopithecus africanus cranium
2501rp94 Australopithecus africanus cranium
2501rp46 Australopithecus boisei cranium
1979rp1 Australopithecus prometheus cranium
2501rp42 Australopithecus spp. mandible
2501rp19 Paranthropus aethiopicus cranium
2501rp20 Paranthropus boisei cranium (5 pieces: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
2501rp74 Paranthropus boisei cranium + mandible
2501rp23 Paranthropus robustus cranium
2501rp24 Paranthropus robustus mandible
2501rp25 Paranthropus robustus mandible
1979rp41 Paranthropus robustus crassidens cranium

Early Homo from Africa (Cabinet 4)

2501rp59 Homo erectus ulna
2501rp71 Homo erectus femur
2501rp82 Homo ergaster femur
2501rp83 Homo ergaster innominate + vertebrae
2501rp57 Homo habilis foot (tarsals + metatarsals)
2501rp36 Homo erectus cranium
2501rp88 Homo erectus cranium
2501rp31 Homo ergaster cranium + mandible
2501rp29 Homo habilis cranium
2501rp48 Homo habilis cranium (3 pieces; 1, 2, 3)
2501rp67 Homo rudolfensis cranium
1979rp11 Homo sapiens cranium

Homo erectus from Eurasia (Cabinet 5)

433rp1 Homo erectus cranium
433rp2 Homo erectus cranium + mandible
1979rp4 Homo erectus cranium
1979rp5 Homo erectus cranium
1979rp10 Homo erectus cranium + mandible
1979rp29 Homo erectus cranium
1979rp44 Homo erectus cranium
2501rp32 Homo erectus cranium
2501rp33 Homo erectus cranium (calvarium + occipital)
2501rp34 Homo erectus cranium
2501rp50 Homo erectus mandible
2501rp51 Homo erectus maxilla
2501rp84 Homo erectus cranium + mandible

Archaic Homo sapiens (Cabinet 6)

433rp10 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis innominate
433rp11 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis humerus
433rp12 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis scapula
433rp13 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis clavicle
433rp14 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis ulna
433rp15 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis radius
433rp16 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis ulna
433rp17 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis humerus
433rp6 Homo heidelbergensis mandible
1979rp45 Homo heidelbergensis cranium
2501rp35 Homo sapiens cranium
2501rp37 Homo sapiens cranium + mandible
433rp7 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis cranium + mandible
433rp18 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis maxilla
433rp20 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis mandible
1979rp15 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis cranium + mandible
1979rp33 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis mandible
1979rp34 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis cranium
1979rp35 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis cranium
1979rp36 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis cranium
1979rp46 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis cranium

Modern Homo sapiens (Cabinet 7)

2501rp41 Homo sapiens (pygmy) innominate
433rp27 Anatomically modern Homo sapiens sapiens cranium + mandible
433rp35 Anatomically modern Homo sapiens sapiens cranium
1979rp14 Anatomically modern Homo sapiens sapiens cranium
1979rp28 Anatomically modern Homo sapiens sapiens cranium + mandible
1979rp31 Anatomically modern Homo sapiens sapiens cranium + mandible
1979rp47 Anatomically modern Homo sapiens sapiens cranium + mandible
433rp5 Homo sapiens cranium
2501rp49 Homo sapiens cranium
2501rp58 Homo sapiens cranium (right parietal, left parietal, occipital)
433rp28 Nebraska Man (hoax) cranium + mandible
433rp29 Piltdown Man (hoax) mandible
433rp30 Piltdown Man (hoax) endocast

Primates and Other Mammals (Cabinet 8)

2501rp65 Aegyptopithecus zeuxis cranium + mandible
1979rp7 Gigantopithecus blacki teeth (3 molars)
1979rp8 Meganthropus paleojavanicus mandible
2501rp61 Morotopithecus bishopi maxilla
2501rp62 Morotopithecus bishopi vertebra
2501rp64 Proconsul africanus cranium + mandible
2501rp63 Ramapithecus wickeri maxilla (2 pieces)
1979rp39 Telanthropus capensis mandible
1979rp18 Gibbon (Hylobates spp.) cranium
433rp39 Gorilla (Gorilla spp.) cranium + mandible
2501rp93 Domestic Cat (Felis catus) articulated skeleton
2501rp92 Macaques (Macaca spp.) cranium + mandible
1979rp20 Orangutan (Pongo spp.) cranium + mandible
2501rp86 Beaver (Castor canadensis) cranium + mandible
2501rp85 Coyote (Canis latrans) cranium + mandible
2501rp87 Mink (Mustela vison) cranium + mandible
2501rp90 Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) cranium + mandible
2501rp89 Raccoon (Procyon lotor) cranium + mandible
2501rp91 Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) cranium + mandible

Modern Homo sapiens (Cabinet 9)

2501rp95 Homo sapiens articulated skeleton