This engaging book tells the story of human evolution, asking if man is indeed the "chosen species" or merely an evolutionary accident.
Written by world-renowned paleoanthropologists who are co-directors of the excavations at Atapuerca---a World Heritage Site and Europe's oldest known burial site---where a new human species, homo antecessor, was discovered, the book discusses various hypotheses of human evolution, drawing conclusions from verifiable facts and well-founded argument.
Acknowledgments. Introduction: Prehistory. Little Lucy. Intrepid Paleontologists. Part I: Children of Africa. 1. Basic Principles of Evolutionary Theory. 2. We the Primates. 3. Climate and Evolution. 4. The Origin of Humanity. 5. The Bipedal Chimpanzee. 6. Paranthropus - Hominids of the Open Plains. 7. A New Kind of Hominid. 8. The Evolution of the Brain. 9. Teeth, Guts, Hands, Brain. 10. Development. 11. Social Intelligence. Summary. Part II: A New Home. 12. New Locations for Human Evolution. 13. The Neanderthals. 14. The Origins of Modern Humanity: the Fossil Evidence. 15. The Origins of Modern Humanity: The Genetic. 16. The Origins of Human Language. 17. The Meaning of Evolution. Epilogue. The Never-ending Story. Bibliography. Index.
Juan Luis Arsuaga is Professor of Human Paleontology at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Visiting Professor at University College, London, and has been a leading member of the team in charge of the burial site at Atapuerca since 1982. Ignacio Martinez is Professor of Natural Sciences at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and has been a member of the Atapuerca team since 1984.
This book by the researchers who helped to unearth the extraordinary and important collection of human fossils from Atapuerca is an excellent introduction to human ancestry. Read it and you will experience at first hand the fascination of the human fossil hunter. Bernard Wood, George Washington University "A fine book that tells the tale of human origins in an engaging and authoritative manner." Roger Lewin, Associate of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University, and prize-winning author of Bones of Contention -------------------- The following are translations of Spanish-language reviews of the Spanish edition of the book: "Essential reading. ... This book fills a crucial gap in the body of scientific literature written for the general public." --- La esfera de los libros "Far more than a timely presentation of the magnitude, significance, and contents of the famed Atapuerca site, this book is also an enlightening account of the origins of human life, including the basic principles of evolutionary theory. " --- El Pais "An excellent text.... By drawing on both biology and paleontology, Arsuaga and Martinez bring their subject to life for their readers." --- El Pais "Here is a book that should be of perennial interest to the educated reader, the humanist, who cannot get enough of research and writing on the subject of his own origins." --- ABC literario