News FocusPaleoanthropology

Evolving Artists

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Science  10 Jul 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5937, pp. 139
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_139

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How do you become a paleoartist? Judging from the successful few whose work shapes our ideas of ancient humans (see main text), there's no standard career path, but hefty doses of both artistic talent and scientific knowledge are essential. Although it may seem a rarefied field, the tradition of creating scientific depictions of ancient humans stretches back to the 19th century, when scientists began digging up Neandertals and other hominins and eagerly sought artists to depict their discoveries.