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The Complete World of Human Evolution

19 May 2005

The Complete World of Human Evolution book

Launched on 19 May, The Complete World of Human Evolution book takes you on a 20-million-year journey through human and ape evolution.

Written by two of the world's foremost scientists in the field, Chris Stringer and Peter Andrews, The Complete World of Human Evolution is an up-to-date illustrated account of our origins, including the latest major discoveries and advances.

'Peter Andrews and I have been active researchers in palaeoanthropology for over 30 years, and we have been privileged to witness some of the most significant discoveries and breakthroughs in the reconstruction of our evolution,' said Chris Stringer.

The Complete World of Human Evolution looks in detail at how remarkable fossil finds are illuminating the early evolution of our ancestors. A growing fossil record, along with increasing precision in dating techniques, genetic analysis, and increasing archaeological data, are all advancing our understanding greatly.

Along with these advances, there are still many fascinating puzzles, such as the exact nature of our last common ancestor shared with chimpanzees, why our ancestors began the fundamental human adaptation of walking upright on two legs, and how we eventually replaced other surviving humans, such as the Neanderthals, and came to dominate the planet.

How little we know about later human evolution in regions such as southeast Asia has been highlighted by the discovery of a remarkable skeleton of a very primitive human-like form on the island of Flores, Indonesia, and this is explored in the book.

Chris adds, 'In our new book, we hope to show the way that scientists approach the reconstruction of human evolution, and highlight the main areas of growth in both the fossil record and in our means of interpreting that record'.

Chris Stringer currently holds the position of Head of Human Origins at the Natural History Museum, previously held by Peter Andrews.

The Complete World of Human Evolution book is available in the Museum Shop and to buy online.

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