Now widely recognised as a standard in the field, the Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory provides the most complete context possible for understanding the 65-million-year story of humankind's origins. The Encyclopedia gathers the work of 49 internationally recognised scholars, each a leading authority writing under the guidance of a distinguished team of editors from the American Museum of Natural History. They have prepared over 800 entries, ranging from brief definitions of technical terms to in depth, lengthy essays on broad topics such as evolutionary theory, genetics and Palaeolithic archaeology. This range makes the Encyclopedia a suitable tool for scholars and readers in a variety of fields, including archaeology, palaeontology, primateology, and genetics. Each entry offers an authoritative and objective explanation of its topic, written in clear, concise language. In discussions of contested and controversial topics, the contributors present a full range of opinion, with extensive cross-references.