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Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction

Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction PDF

Author: Bernard Wood

Publisher: Oxford University Press


Publish Date: January 12, 2006

ISBN-10: 0192803603

Pages: 131

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

For an author used to the luxury of lengthy academic papers and the occasional 500-page monograph, and to the protection afforded by technical language and multiple qualifications, boiling down human evolutionary history to the size constraints and style of a VSI was a considerable challenge. That it was overcome at all is in large measure due to the contributions of Barbara Miller, senior co-author with me of Anthropology (Allyn & Bacon, 2006). The clarity of the writing and many of the ideas in the VSI are the result of our collaboration. Thanks go to Mark Weiss and Matthew Goodrum for much valued advice about, respectively, genetics and the history of human origins research, to Monica Ohlinger for advice about style, my colleague, Robin Bernstein, my OUP editor, Marsha Filion, and to an anonymous reviewer, for reading the entire manuscript and making valuable suggestions for revisions. Graduate students in the Hominid Paleobiology program at George Washington University and my program assistant, Phillip Williams, wittingly and unwittingly contributed by providing information, helping me find ‘lost’ files and notes. I am grateful to several publishers, notably Allyn & Bacon, for allowing me to adapt and use previously published images and figures. This book is for my family and my teachers, living and dead, young and old.


Acknowledgements viii
List of illustrations ix
List of tables xi
1 Introduction 1
2 Finding our place 7
3 Fossil hominins: their discovery and context 24
4 Fossil hominins: analysis and interpretation 37
5 Early hominins: possible and probable 58
6 Archaic and transitional hominins 71
7 Pre-modern Homo 84
8 Modern Homo 100
Timeline of thought and science relevant to
human origins and evolution 116
Further reading 121
Index 125

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