ISBN : 9780198831747
The study of human evolution is advancing rapidly. Newly discovered fossil evidence is adding ever more pieces to the puzzle of our past, whilst revolutionary technological advances in the study of ancient DNA are completely reshaping theories of early human populations and migrations.
In this Very Short Introduction Bernard Wood traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the eighteenth century to the very latest fossil finds. In this new edition he discusses how Ancient DNA studies have revolutionized how we view the recent (post-550 ka) human evolution, and the process of speciation. The combination of ancient and modern human DNA has contributed to discoveries of new taxa, as well as the suggestion of 'ghost' taxa whose fossil records still remain to be discovered. Considering the contributions of related sciences such as paleoclimatology, geochronology, systematics, genetics, and developmental biology, Wood explores our latest understandings of our own evolution.
2: Finding our place
3: Fossil hominins: their discovery and context
4: Fossil hominins: analysis and interpretation
5: Early hominins: possible and probable
6: Archaic and transitional hominins
7: Pre-modern Homo
8: Modern Homo
Timeline of thought and science relevant to human origins and evolution
"Concise but with wide coverage, this is your ideal pocket guide to human evolution." - Chris Stringer, Natural History Museum
"This is a well written, concise survey of research on our origins. Bernard Wood writes with an authority that few in the discipline can approach. The text is accessible, and the coverage is comprehensive." - Professor Peter Ungar, University of Arkansas
"Wood presents a concise but comprehensive treatment of our own evolutionary history. Any reader interested in the topic of human origins will greatly benefit from this work." - Professor Zeray Alemseged, University of Chicago