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A reprint of a classical work in the Princeton Legacy Library, originally published in 1993.
This volume of papers delivered to The Royal Society in February of 1992 explores the debate over the "single center" hypothesis of human origins versus "multi-regional evolution." Over the last five years there has been growing support for a recent "Out of Africa" origin of modern humans – based on fresh interpretations of the palaeoanthropological and archaeological evidence, new applications of physical dating techniques to important sites, and a greatly increased genetic data base on recent human variation and its geographical patterning. But there has also been a parallel growth of doubts about interpretations of the new evidence from some workers. Origin of Modern Humans and the Impact of Chronometric Dating provides a review of recent progress and allows some of these doubts to be aired and discussed.
In addition to the editors, the contributors are O. Bar-Yosef, A. M. Bowcock, P. Brown, H. J. Deacon, L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, J. D. Clark, R. Grun, J.-J. Hublin, A. A. Lin, G. H. Miller, J. L. Mountain, H. P. Schwarcz, N. J. Shackleton, F. H. Smith, and M. Stoneking.
- Outlining the problem
- Uranium-series dating and the origin of modern man
- Luminescence dating relevant to human origins
- Electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of the origin of modern man
- Pleistocene geochronology and palaeothermometry from protein diagenesis in ostrich eggshells: implications for the evolution of modern humans
- Evolution of modern humans: evidence from nuclear DNA polymorphisms
- New approaches to dating suggest a recent age for the human mtDNA ancestor
- Southern Africa and modern human origins
- Recent human evolution in northwestern Africa
- The role of western Asia in modern human origins
- African and Asian perspectives on the origins of modern humans
- Reconstructing recent human evolution
- Archaeology and the population-dispersal hypothesis of modern human origins in Europe
- Recent human evolution in East Asia and Australasia
- Models and realities in modern human origins: the African fossil evidence
M. J. Aitken is Professor Emeritus in the Research Laboratory for Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Chris Stringer is Head of the Human Origins Group in the Department of Palaeontology at the Natural History Museum, London. Paul Mellars is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge.