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Synopsis

"This textbook, aimed at advanced undergraduates and postgraduates in paleoanthropology courses, tackles a rather difficult task—that of presenting the substantial body of paleontological, genetic, geological and archaeological evidence regarding human evolution, and the associated scientific history, in a logical and readable way without sacrificing either clarity or detail... the sheer quality of the writing and explanatory synthesis in this book will undoubtedly make it a valuable resource for students for many years."
—PaleoAnthropology, 2010

This book focuses on the last ten million years of human history, from the hominoid radiations to the emergence and diversification of modern humanity. It draws upon the fossil record to shed light on the key scientific issues, principles, methods, and history in paleoanthropology. The book proceeds through the fossil record of human evolution by historical stages representing the acquisition of major human features that explain the success and distinctive properties of modern Homo sapiens.

Key features:

  • Provides thorough coverage of the fossil record and sites, with data on key variables such as cranial capacity and body size estimates
  • Offers a balanced, critical assessment of the interpretative models explaining pattern in the fossil record
  • Each chapter incorporates a "Blind Alley" box focusing on once prevalent ideas now rejected such as the arboreal theory, seed-eating, single-species hypothesis, and Piltdown man
  • Promotes critical thinking by students while allowing instructors flexibility in structuring their teaching
  • Densely illustrated with informative, well-labelled anatomical drawings and photographs
  • Includes an annotated bibliography for advanced inquiry

Written by established leaders in the field, providing depth of expertise on evolutionary theory and anatomy through to functional morphology, this textbook is essential reading for all advanced undergraduate students and beginning graduate students in biological anthropology.

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