Human evolution : a very short introduction


Human evolution : a very short introduction

Bernard Wood

(Very short introductions, 142)

Oxford University Press, 2019

2nd ed

  • : [pbk]

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"Timeline of important events and discoveries relevant to human origins and evolution": p. 127-130

Includes bibliographical references and index

Previous ed.: London : Chapman and Hall, 1978

First ed.: 2005



The study of human evolution is advancing rapidly. Newly discovered fossil evidence is adding ever more pieces to the puzzle of our past, whilst revolutionary technological advances in the study of ancient DNA are completely reshaping theories of early human populations and migrations. In this Very Short Introduction Bernard Wood traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the eighteenth century to the very latest fossil finds. In this new edition he discusses how Ancient DNA studies have revolutionized how we view the recent (post-550 ka) human evolution, and the process of speciation. The combination of ancient and modern human DNA has contributed to discoveries of new taxa, as well as the suggestion of 'ghost' taxa whose fossil records still remain to be discovered. Considering the contributions of related sciences such as paleoclimatology, geochronology, systematics, genetics, and developmental biology, Wood explores our latest understandings of our own evolution. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


1: Introduction 2: Finding our place 3: Fossil hominins: their discovery and context 4: Fossil hominins: analysis and interpretation 5: Early hominins: possible and probable 6: Archaic and transitional hominins 7: Pre-modern Homo 8: Modern Homo Timeline of thought and science relevant to human origins and evolution Further reading Index

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