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An expert on Neanderthals and human evolution will be the next speaker at a special lecture series at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Fred H. Smith, a noted human paleontologist and professor of anthropology and biological sciences at Illinois State University, will speak at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, April 14. The lecture will take place in the McClung auditorium.

He also is a UT alumnus and former professor.

Smith’s lecture, “Neanderthals and the Beginnings of People Like Us,” will explore the early humans who evolved in Europe but spread into Asia and likely North Africa. He will discuss their similarities to modern-day humans and their distinctive differences. Smith also will examine cultural, anatomical, and genetic evidence that has provided surprising perspectives on Neanderthals and humans over the last few years.

The lecture series is part of the celebration of the museum’s fiftieth anniversary. Smith’s talk is the second in the series.

The series brings in worldwide experts to speak on topics related to the museum’s collections and exhibitions on archaeology, Egyptology, decorative arts, the American Civil War, geology, and natural history.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Other upcoming lecture speakers and dates will be announced soon.

The museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive. It is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free.

For more information about the McClung Museum and its collections and exhibits, visit the museum’s website.


Catherine Shteynberg (865-974-6921, cshteynb@utk.edu)

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993, lalapo@utk.edu)