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  • Published: 29 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9780141968360
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

The Origin of Our Species




The definitive guide to the greatest debate of all: Who are we and where did we come from?

In this ground-breaking book Chris Stringer sets out to answer all the big questions in the debate about our origins. How can we define modern humans, and how can we recognise our beginnings in the fossil and archaeological record? How can we accurately date fossils, including ones beyond the range of radiocarbon dating? What do the genetic data really tell us? Were our origins solely in Africa? Are modern humans a distinct species from ancient people such as the Neanderthals? And what contact did our ancestors have with them? How can we recognise modern humans behaviourally, and were traits such as complex language and art unique to modern humans? What forces shaped the origins of modern humans - were they climatic, dietary, social, or even volcanic? What drove the dispersals of modern humans from Africa, and how did our species spread over the globe? How did regional features evolve, and how significant are they? What exactly was the 'Hobbit' of the island of Flores, and how was it related to us? Has human evolution stopped, or are we still evolving? What can we expect from future research on our origins? This book will make every reader think about what it means to be human.

  • Published: 29 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9780141968360
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

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Praise for The Origin of Our Species

To follow the dramatic announcements that will be appearing in the media pretty regularly from now on concerning new fossil finds and detailed genetic knowledge on the mutations that distinguish us from Neanderthals, other hominins, and apes, you will need a primer to make sense of the story so far. Here is that book.

Peter Forbes, The Guardian

The Origin of Our Species combines anecdote and speculation with crisp explanation of the latest science in the study of the first humans.

John Hawks, New Scientist

When it comes to human evolution [Chris Stringer] is as close to the horse's mouth as it gets...The Origin of Our Species should be the one-stop source on the subject. Read it now

Henry Gee, BBC Focus

Combining the thrill of a novel with a remarkable depth of perspective, the book offers a panorama of recent developments...Stringer's original ideas will open up avenues for those who deal with genes, fossils or artefacts.

Jean-Jacques Hublin, Nature

The Origin of Our Species [is] the right book by the right author at the right time. It highlights just how many tantalising discoveries and analytical advances have enriched the field in recent years, and folds them into an appropriately comprehensive, generous and nuanced reflection.

Marek Kohn, Literary Review

The Origin of Our Species starts as a clear, perceptive survey. It ends by introducing a new way of defining us and our place in history

Mike Pitts, Sunday Times

Sets out to tackle the big questions about human origins...written in a personal, unpretentious style...a laudable summary of a vital subject

Matt Grove, British Archaeology

The most up to date synthesis available

Steven Mithen, London Review of Books

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