From Lucy to Language Revised, Updated, and Expanded

ISBN-10: 0743280644

ISBN-13: 9780743280648

Edition: 2006

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In 1974 in a remote region of Ethiopia, Donald Johanson, then one of America's most promising young paleoanthropologists, discovered "Lucy", the oldest, best preserved skeleton of any erect-walking human ever found. This discovery prompted a complete reevaluation of previous evidence for human origins. In the years since this dramatic discovery Johanson has continued to scour East Africa's Great rift Valley for the earliest evidence of human origins. In 1975 this team unearthed the "First Family", an unparalleled fossil assemblage of 13 individuals dating back to 3.2 million years ago; and in 1986 at the Rift's most famous location, Olduvai Gorge, this same team discovered a 1.8 million-year-old partial adult skeleton that necessitated a reassessment of the earliest members of our own genusHomo. Johanson's fieldwork continues unabated and recently more fossil members of Lucy's family have been found, including the 1992 discovery of the oldest, most complete skull of her species, with future research now planned for 1996 in the virtually unexplored regions of the most northern extension of the Rift Valley in Eritrea. From Lucy to Languageis a summing up of this remarkable career and a stunning documentary of human life through time on Earth. It is a combination of the vital experience of field work and the intellectual rigor of primary research. It is the fusion of two great writing talents: Johanson and Blake Edgar, an accomplished science writer, editor of the California Academy of Sciences'Pacific Discovery,and co-author of Johanson's last book,Ancestors. From Lucy to Languageis one of the greatest stories ever told, bracketing the timeline between bipedalism and human language. Part I addresses the central issues facing anyone seeking to decipher the mystery of human origins. In this section the authors provide answers to the basics -- "What are our closest living relatives?" -- tackle the controversial -- "What is race?" -- and contemplate the imponderables -- "Why did consciousness evolve?" From Lucy to Languageis an encounter with the evidence. Early human fossils are hunted, discovered, identified, excavated, collected, preserved, labeled, cleaned, reconstructed, drawn, fondled, photographed, cast, compared, measured, revered, pondered, published, and argued over endlessly. Fossils like Lucy have become a talisman of sorts, promising to reveal the deepest secrets of our existence. In Part II the authors profile over fifty of the most significant early human fossils ever found. Each specimen is displayed in color and at actual size, most of them in multiple views. With them the authors present the cultural accoutrements associated with the fossils: stone tools which evidence increasing sophistication over time, the earliest stone, clay, and ivory art objects, and the culminating achievement of the dawn of human consciousness -- the magnificent rock and cave paintings of Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. In the endFrom Lucy to Languageis a reminder and a challenge. Like no species before us, we now seem poised to control vast parts of the planet and its life. We possess the power to influence, if not govern, evolution. For that reason, we must not forget our link to the natural world and our debt to natural selection. We need to "think deep", to add a dose of geologic time and evolutionary history to our perspective of who we are, where we came from, and where we are headed. This is the most poignant lesson this book has to offer.
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Book details

List price: $65.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 10/17/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Size: 10.25" wide x 12.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 4.708
Language: English

Pioneering paleoanthropologist and winner of the American Book Award, DONALD C. JOHANSON founded the Institute of Human Origins in 1981, now located at Arizona State University in Tempe. KATE WONG has been covering human evolution forScientific Americanfor more than a decade. From the Hardcover edition.

Donald Johanson has explored the Great Rift Valley of East Africa for more than two decades, seeking clues to our ultimate origins. One of the most lively and controversial scientists working today, he is the author of five previous books, the host of the three-part Nova series In Search of Human Origins, and continues to lecture regularly. Known worldwide for his discovery of the Lucy skeleton, he is founder and president of the Institute of Human Origins in Berkeley, California, where he resides.

David Brill is an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee's School of Journalism. His articles have appeared in "National Geographic Traveler", "Men's Health", "Backpacker", "Outside", & "Parenting" magazines. He is the author of "As Far As the Eye Can See", a collection of essays based on his experiences on the Appalachian Trail. He lives in a cabin in rural Tennessee.

Central Issues of Paleoanthropology
What is a Human?
The Human Creature
The Quest for Origins
Is Human Evolution Different?
The Science of Paleoanthropology
The Early Human Fossil Record
Discovering Early Human Fossil Sites
Recovering the Remains of Early Humans
Dating Fossils and Artifacts
Climate and Human Evolution
Proteins, DNA, and Human Evolution
Why is Paleoanthropology So Contentious?
Our Closest Living Relatives
The Last Common Ancestor of Apes and Humans
Drawing the Human Family Tree
African Genesis
Early vs
Modern Humans
Eve, and Adam
The Earliest Fossil Evidence of Anatomically Modern Humans
Out of Africa
The First Americans
Peopling the Globe
Defining Human Species
Co-Existing Human Species
Human Diversity Today
What Is Race?
The Size of Early Humans
Sexual Dimorphism
Evolution of the Human Brain
Reconstructing the Appearance of Early Humans
Primate Societies and Early Human Social Behavior
Evidence for Bipedalism
The Origins of Bipedalism
The Oldest Stone Tools
Hunters, Gatherers, or Scavengers?
The Origins of Language
The Problem of Consciousness
Will Humans Become Extinct?
Place of Humans in Nature
Encountering the Evidence
Ardipithecus ramidus ARA-VP-6/129, Juvenile Partial mandible
Australopithecus anamensis,KNM-KP 29281
Adult mandible
Australopithecus afarensis
Australopithecus afarensis,A.L. 288-1
Lucy, Partial adult skeleton
Australopithecus afarensis,A.L. 333
Fragments of thirteen individuals
Australopithecus afarensis,A.L. 444-2 Adult cranium
Australopithecus afarensis,A.L. 129-1a+1b Adult female knee joint
Australopithecus afarensis,L.H. 4
Adult mandible Fossil hominid footprints
Australopithecus africanus
Australopithecus africanus,Sts 5, Mrs Ples, Adult cranium
Australopithecus africanus,Sts 14, Partial adult skeleton
Australopithecus africanus,Sts 71 and Sts 36, Adult cranium and mandible
Australopithecus africanus,Taung Child, Juvenile skull
Australopithecus africanus,TM 1517, Adult partial cranium and mandible
Australopithecussp., Stw 252, Adult cranium
Australopithecus robustus
Australopithecus robustus,SK 6, Adolescent mandible
SK 48, Adult cranium
SK 48, Adult cranium
SK 79, Adult cranium
Australopithecus aethiopicus
Australopithecus aethiopicus,KNM-WT 17000, Black Skull, Adult cranium
Australopithecus boisei
Australopithecus boisei,OH 5, Zinj, Adult cranium
Australopithecus boisei,KNM-ER 406, Adult male cranium
KNM-ER 732, Adult female cranium
Homosp., A.L. 666-1, Adult maxilla
Homo habilis
Homo habilis,OH 7, Juvenile male partial skeleton
Homo habilis,OH 24, Adult female cranium
Homo habilis,KNM-ER 1813, Adult cranium
Homo habilis,OH 62, Partial adult skeleton
Homo rudolfensis
Homo rudolfensis,KNM-ER 1470, Adult cranium
Homo ergaster
Homo ergaster,KNM-ER 3733, Adult cranium
Homo ergaster,KNM-WT 1500, Juvenile male skeleton
Homo ergaster,SK 847, Partial adult cranium
Homo erectus
Homo erectus,Trinil 2, Java Man, Adult partial cranium
Homo erectus,Peking Man, Adult skull reconstruction
Homo erectus,Sangiran 17, Adult male cranium
Homo heidelbergensis
Homo heidelbergensis,Bodo cranium, Adult cranium
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