I’ve been blogging about archaeological LEGO for nearly 10 years here on The Brothers Brick, but I think this Sahelanthropus tchadensis skull might be the first fossil hominid we’ve featured here. Grant Masters has recreated the Toumaï skull discovered in Chad by French and Chadian paleontologists in 2001 and 2002. Grant has built the distinctive heavy brow ridge common to all but the gracile Homo sapiens, along with the angled face and tiny brain case — only about the same size as modern chimpanzees. I love that Grant even reproduced the fossil’s snaggletooth look with all its missing teeth.
Isotopic analysis revealed an age of about 7 million years for this remarkable fossil. While it’s not clear whether this is a distant ancestor or a distant cousin of humans, it was a remarkable find nevertheless.
(If you want to learn more about human origins and paleoanthropology, you might enjoy my Paleolithic reading lists on my non-LEGO blog.)