I tapped photographer Robert Clark for a still life shoot of stone age artifacts for the special issue on Human Origins. The American Museum of Natural History in New York City agreed to let us photograph some selections from their impressive collection. At a large table set up in the hall on the staff-only fifth floor, Clark photographed these ancient objects under the watchful eye of AMNH curators and scientists.
During this shoot I was cured forever of even a hint of snobbery towards Neanderthals while holding a fearsomely massive fragment of a mammoth tooth in one hand and a spear point in the other. Anyone who may have slain a mammoth with a sharp sliver of stone deserves my eternal respect and admiration.
Fragment of mammoth tooth, to the right, a flint that was probably a spearpoint, comes from the Le Moustier archeological site in southwestern France. It was made between 40,000 and 55,000 years ago.
Photographs by Robert Clark