This was inspired by one of my favourite movies: 2001, A Space Odyssey.
Figure built with copper wire and Magic Sculp (2 part epoxy putty), TMA-0 made off polystyrene, ground made out off gesso.
TMA-0 was the third monolith discovered by modern humans, though it was the first to be met by any form of life. It was placed on Earth, somewhere in the African deserts, around 3 million years B.C. It served as a catalyst for intelligence.
It was met by a tribe of ape-men, on the brink of starvation. By mysterious means, the monolith probed the ape-men's minds, carving the path to sentience. It taught them to use bones and rocks as weapons, as well as many other life-changing skills. After 3 days of this "training," the monolith disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared. Eons later, the result was the birth of humankind.
In 3001, newly revived Frank Poole finds out that this monolith has been unearthed.