The Centre for Research on the evolution of humans and societies

The Musée de l’Homme is home to two research divisions: Prehistory, and Humans, Natures, Societies. The museum’s scientific and cultural project revolves around their research topics and rich study collections. The renovation enabled the emergence of a new research entity within the Musée de l’Homme. The Centre for Research on the evolution of humans and societies is the expression of the researchers’ desire to regroup with a view to reinforcing interdisciplinary research on humans and their environment and approach new questions raised by the many discoveries of the past twenty years.


The Musée de l’Homme is home to two research divisions: Prehistory, and Humans, Natures, Societies. The museum’s scientific and cultural project revolves around their research topics and rich study collections. The renovation enabled the emergence of a ne

The Musée de l’Homme’s founder, Paul Rivet, summed up the museum’s theme as follows: “Humanity is one and indivisible, not only in space but also in time.” As meaningful as ever, it is the guiding line by which the museum’s scientists conduct their research.

Dynamized potential

The heritage of Paul Rivet’s laboratory-museum (a museum, collections, a library, a centre for higher learning, research) combined with the possibilities offered by the architectural renovation and the recognition of the contribution of human sciences to current issues we face (climate change, loss of biodiversity) make for a unique opportunity to shape a structure conducive to new synergies.

The existing potential has been bolstered by the young researchers who’ve joined teams that are already internationally renowned for their scientific quality and originality, as well as by a number of masters’ students and doctoral candidates and the integration of new fields of research (ethnobiology, ethnomusicology and primatology). Even the walls are new. The design has done away with the separations between disciplines: the proximity of the offices and technology platforms are an open invitation for collaboration and the exchange of ideas. Sharing the same premises, the researchers are sure to mingle: prehistorians who work on 2 million-year-old fossils; primatologists studying the behaviour of our cousins the great apes, or the ethnologists and ethnobiologists who explore contemporary societies. Human contact and sharing are the foundation for interdisciplinarity.

An original contribution

The Research Centre is grounded in the renown of its researchers, their expertise, and the new federating dynamics for an original contribution, putting into perspective biological, cultural and social date on humans, from prehistoric to contemporary times. A mainspring nationally and internationally when it comes to understanding our past, it also constitutes a framework for evaluating our species’ capacity to imagine scenarios for the future.

Learn more about the Prehistory division and its research units at:
mnhn.fr/fr/recherche-expertise/departemements-scientifiques/prehistoire

Learn more about the Humans, Natures, Societies division and it research units at:
mnhn.fr/fr/recherche-expertise/departemements-scientifiques/hommes-natures-societes


The Centre for Research on the evolution of humans and societies