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The Origins of Modern Humans: Biology Reconsidered

ISBN: 978-0-470-89409-5
480 pages
September 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
The Origins of Modern Humans: Biology Reconsidered (0470894091) cover image

This update to the award-winning The Origins of Modern Humans: A World Survey of the Fossil Evidence covers the most accepted common theories concerning the emergence of modern Homo sapiens—adding fresh insight from top young scholars on the key new discoveries of the past 25 years.

The Origins of Modern Humans: Biology Reconsidered allows field leaders to discuss and assess the assemblage of hominid fossil material in each region of the world during the Pleistocene epoch. It features new fossil and molecular evidence, such as the evolutionary inferences drawn from assessments of modern humans and large segments of the Neandertal genome. It also addresses the impact of digital imagery and the more sophisticated morphometrics that have entered the analytical fray since 1984.

Beginning with a thoughtful introduction by the authors on modern human origins, the book offers such insightful chapter contributions as:

  • Africa: The Cradle of Modern People
  • Crossroads of the Old World: Late Hominin Evolution in Western Asia
  • A River Runs through It: Modern Human Origins in East Asia
  • Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Australians
  • Modern Human Origins in Central Europe
  • The Makers of the Early Upper Paleolithic in Western Eurasia
  • Neandertal Craniofacial Growth and Development and Its Relevance for Modern Human Origins
  • Energetics and the Origin of Modern Humans
  • Understanding Human Cranial Variation in Light of Modern Human Origins
  • The Relevance of Archaic Genomes to Modern Human Origins
  • The Process of Modern Human Origins: The Evolutionary and Demographic Changes Giving Rise to Modern Humans
  • The Paleobiology of Modern Human Emergence

Elegant and thought provoking, The Origins of Modern Humans: Biology Reconsidered is an ideal read for students, grad students, and professionals in human evolution and paleoanthropology.

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Contributors ix
Introduction: Thoughts on Modern Human Origins: From 1984 to 2012 xi
Fred H. Smith and James C. M. Ahern

1 Africa: The Cradle of Modern People 1

Osbjorn M. Pearson

2 Crossroads of the Old World: Late Hominin Evolution in Western Asia 45

Robert G. Franciscus and Trenton W. Holliday

3 A River Runs through It: Modern Human Origins in East Asia 89

Karen R. Rosenberg and Xinzhi Wu

4 Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Australians 123

Arthur C. Durband and Michael C. Westaway

5 Modern Human Origins in Central Europe 151

James C. M. Ahern, Ivor Jankoviæ, Jean-Luc Voisin, and Fred H. Smith

6 The Makers of the Early Upper Paleolithic in Western Eurasia 223

Jean-Jacques Hublin

7 Neandertal Craniofacial Growth and Development and Its Relevance for Modern Human Origins 253

Frank L’Engle Williams

8 Energetics and the Origin of Modern Humans 285

Andrew W. Froehle, Todd R. Yokley, and Steven E. Churchill

9 Understanding Human Cranial Variation in Light of Modern Human Origins 321

John H. Relethford

10 The Relevance of Archaic Genomes to Modern Human Origins 339

John Hawks and Zach Throckmorton

11 The Process of Modern Human Origins: The Evolutionary and Demographic Changes Giving Rise to Modern Humans 355

Rachel Caspari and Milford H. Wolpoff

12 The Paleobiology of Modern Human Emergence 393

Erik Trinkaus

Index 435

The color plate section can be found between pages 242 and 243.

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Fred Smith is Chairman of the Department of Anthropology at Illinois State University and a past president of the American Association of Physical Anthropology.  A noted authority on neanderthal and early modern human evolution, Dr. Smith has a 40 year record of thought-leading publications.

Jim Ahern is Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology at the University of Wyoming.  Dr. Ahern's research has covered many aspects of human biological and biocultural evolution, ranging from work on the origin of the hominin lineage to the peopling of the Americas.

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