By: Himla Soodyall
Curiosity about our origins is a defining characteristic of humanity. Of the various scientific disciplines concerned with human origins, genetics is the youngest, but the information gleaned from such studies has radically changed the current views of the human past; even greater advances are expected to follow in the future.
The Prehistory of Africa, edited by Professor Himla Soodyall, Director of the Human Genomic Diversity and Disease Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand and the National Health Laboratory Service, include contributions that span disciplinary divisions and arguments grounded in paleoanthropology, archaeology, cultural analysis, linguistic and genetic studies, and offers a critical evaluation of the methods and concepts used in the various disciplines to reconstruct the past, accompanied by a robust evaluation of the results.
All lines of evidence converge to support the thesis that human origins are deeply rooted in Africa. The contributions by internationally acclaimed researchers in their respective fields are coherently organised in the book to simultaneously inform and encourage interdisciplinary dialogue while unravelling how these lines of evidence collectively contribute to telling the story of about 150 000 years of human history within Africa and, more specifically, southern Africa.
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