Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life

Born in Africa The Quest for the Origins of Human Life Africa does not give up its secrets easily Buried there lie answers about the origins of humankind After a century of investigation scientists have transformed our understanding about the beginnings

  • Title: Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life
  • Author: Martin Meredith
  • ISBN: 9781586486631
  • Page: 476
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Africa does not give up its secrets easily Buried there lie answers about the origins of humankind After a century of investigation, scientists have transformed our understanding about the beginnings of human life But vital clues still remain hidden In Born in Africa, Martin Meredith follows the trail of discoveries about human origins made by scientists over the lastAfrica does not give up its secrets easily Buried there lie answers about the origins of humankind After a century of investigation, scientists have transformed our understanding about the beginnings of human life But vital clues still remain hidden In Born in Africa, Martin Meredith follows the trail of discoveries about human origins made by scientists over the last hundred years, recounting their intense rivalry, personal feuds, and fierce controversies as well as their feats of skill and endurance.The results have been momentous Scientists have identified than twenty species of extinct humans They have firmly established Africa as the birthplace not only of humankind but also of modern humans They have revealed how early technology, language ability, and artistic endeavour all originated in Africa and they have shown how small groups of Africans spread out from Africa in an exodus sixty thousand years ago to populate the rest of the world We have all inherited an African past.

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      Published :2018-09-21T19:03:51+00:00

    1 thought on “Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life”

    1. Evolution. Java Man Piltdown Man Peking ManGreat overview of fossil finds in the search for the missing link.

    2. A very nicely written book which kept my interest. The subject is the search for human origins, mainly in Africa, which the author tells in chronological order starting about the time of Darwin. Leading characters including the Leakeys (Louis, Mary and Richard), Donald Johanson, Tim White, Raymond Dart and Robert Broom. A number of points stand out. First, the field has been contentious since the first Neanderthal specimens were found in Europe, as researchers have often reached diametrically op [...]

    3. Born in Africa provides a decent high-level overview of the work that paleoanthropologists (a discipline that combines paleontology and physical anthropology) have done to uncover the evolutionary lineages of modern humans (homo sapiens). The book is divided into two parts with the first section detailing (in chronological order) the fossil discoveries by paleontologists and their evolving interpretations of the evidence. The second describes physical characteristics of our hominid ancestors as [...]

    4. An excursion in time. BIG time! Who were we? How did we get here? This journey starts 7 or 8 million years ago and traces our origins, thanks to the incredibly patient work of palaeoanthropologists who spend their lives looking for and at bones that are found only occasionally and often by accident.When did we start walking upright, and why? When did our brains increase to their present size? How can we tell? When did tools, fire, language become part of our lives? How do we know? These are the [...]

    5. Focuses on the history of those who dug the fossils just as much as on the history of the fossils themselves. Our ideas of who our ancestors are has changed rapidly - and continues to change. The lives, obsessions and rivalries of the women and men making these discoveries shapes the way we think about the early hominids at least as much as the raw data does.

    6. A highly readable history of the search for early human ancestors. This is a great primer for those unfamiliar with the field, and there's plenty of interesting backstories and circumstances surrounding major anthropological discoveries if you are.

    7. I’m a history major, I’ve read a lot of great history books, but this one is my new favorite. I could not put this book down and yet I really didn’t want it to end either. It’s not dull or dry, reads easily and understandably. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves history, archeology, fossils, and learning about the continent of Africa.

    8. Too many names, i didn't even bother to look them up in the internet. Many field stories, controversies, debates included,which i found unnecessary for my goal of attaining new solid facts about human origins.

    9. A bit overboard for me regarding the scientific details, I can only take so much science till I start to lose interest and it seems this book though written for a popular audience is for those with some extensive knowledge in anthropology, a field I only have slight interest in, I would probably be more interested in the anthropology field except it is full of bat bleep insane Marxists with disturbing fetishes for people or groups very different than themselves. The author mentions early in the [...]

    10. Ths book is not what I expected. I thought it would be a walk through the evolution of humans and a case for why homo sapiens likely came from Africa. However, that's not what this was at all! Though, Meredith did touch on those topics.This was a walk through the search for fossils and the "missing links" in Africa. He covered the finding of all major fossils in Africa of all supposed human ancestors. I also covered the insane drama that happened between all of the archeologists and paleoanthrop [...]

    11. This was wonderful, giving a broad overview of exactly what the title says: the quest for the origins of human life.I loved "Lucy's Child" by Donald Johanson, who gets more than a mention here, but that was just one specific part of the quest, in one area of Africa. I had no idea how much of Africa had yielded fossil treasures nor that the trail went so far back into history. It's mind-boggling how science today can pinpoint how old a shard of bone is, and build up a human skeleton, and then ext [...]

    12. A through and detailed analysis of the origins of Mankind. Nothing earth shattering or new revealed other than the many permutations our ancestors went through in the making of homo sapiens. There are details throughout the book on australopithecus, olduvai man etc. I was fortunate to visit Koobi fora among other archeological sites in Kenya and Tanzania in my youth. Richard E Leakey's work on this subject if profound.East Africa really is the cradle of mankind, the ability to eat and store cook [...]

    13. This is a very 'human' history of the field of paleoanthropology in Africa. The first half of the book felt more like reading a novel about African adventurers , and I say it as a good thing. I thought the book struck a good balance between facts about the fossils and the story of the scientists in that half. But after the chapters on the Leakey family and Donald Johanson, ratio of facts/stories began to tip more and more in the favor of facts. Don't get me wrong, many of the concepts explained [...]

    14. A very handy, readable, quick summary of paleoanthropology in Africa. For anybody who even casually follows anthropology, the content of much of this book will likely be familiar. But the book quite nicely traces the history of hominid skull discovery in southern Africa and along the continent's Rift Valley, and how the prevailing evolutionary theories of the time were challenged and overturned by yet newer finds. For laypersons, the book might serve as a fitting companion to television programs [...]

    15. A fascinating look at the quest for humanity's evolutionary origins. The first section focuses primarily on famous (and infamous) archaeologists and the highly competitive search for signs of our oldest ancestor, an endeavor rife with backstabbing, boasting, vitriol, and questionable research tactics. While highly compelling, it can be hard to keep track of all the competing theories and their validity in that kind of narrative, so fortunately the author also includes a second section more clear [...]

    16. A history of the search for the origins of homo sapiens. Very easy to read. If you are interested not only in the story the fossils tell, but also in the story of the personalities and the process behind the discoveries, you will enjoy this book. Follows a chronological survey of the most important discoveries through most of the book, and then finishes up with a general overview that brings the story up to the present. I am just beginning my search for books about paleoanthropology and found th [...]

    17. This book was fascinating. It gave a great explanation of the historical findings and why each was important both at the time of the finding as well as in reference to the information it gave about our development. What I was most surprised by was the infighting and petty behavior of some of the anthropologists and often the branch of science itself. The fact that many did not accept the chemical proofs that were found because it didn’t involve digging in the dirt, just amazes me. That behavio [...]

    18. An excellent book that explains our complex history and the equally detailed and fascinating story of the path to discovering exactly how our evolution occurred. A remarkable and well-researched read for anyone interested in the past.One of the most important questions it continuously brought to my mind is this: in our "highly advanced, modern age," how much of what we know - of what is scientifically proven - is in fact, false?Enjoy!

    19. Interesting read. What will remain in my cortex of this book was mostly there before I read it yet it provides a very personal account of the struggles for human evolutional history. Most of the work focuses on the very early hominids and the stories surrounding their discovery but it just skims over recent discoveries (by recent I mean starting in the nineties of the past century!!). Enjoyable like a novel.

    20. In Afrika: De bron van ons bestaan zet Martin Meredith op sublieme wijze uiteen hoe de wetenschap ertoe gekomen is te veronderstellen dat de mensheid isontstaan in Afrika. In de twintigste eeuw probeerde wetenschapper na wetenschapper antwoord te geven op één van de grootste levensvragen - die waar de mensheid vandaan komt - maar daarmee zetten zij hun wetenschappelijke carrière op het spel. Meredith vertelt hun verhaal, en wekt daarmee de mensen achter de wetenschap tot leven.

    21. A very good introduction and enjoyable read on paleoanthropology, or the study of ancient human. the book is divided into two parts where in the first parts gives a chronological account of the fields in a very non-technical manner but full of intrigues from the people in the fields (gives the impression of real life soap opera). While in the second part it puts everything together and portrays the evolution of ancient man. In all a very interesting an enjoyable read.

    22. Looking for a book that explains where humans originated and how they spread around the world, I thought Meredith's book would fit the bill. It did, but only in passing. The book, well written and well researched, focuses mainly on the major fossil discoveries of the past 100 years and the people who made the discoveries. OK as far as that goes but not what I was looking for. The last three chapters do cover what I was hoping to read. Whets my appetite for more.

    23. I had only heard bits and pieces of the politics involved in bone hunting and this fleshed those things out. I would have been interested in more of the politics in the Neanderthal debate. Meredith very nicely summarized the latest thinking on human origins and when the current line of humans migrated out of Africa. I enjoyed the book very much.

    24. Book is an ok read, with a few interesting facts. From the title it seems to be a far more interesting book than it actually turned out to be. A big negative: is a one sided attempt to put Africa as the place of our origin. It lacks depth. Having said that, for a person starting on the subject, it is a easy read and an easy starter so you may want to give it a go.

    25. There's a lot more about the squabbles among academic anthropologists than one might expect here, for better or for worse, but beyond that this is a solid, down-the-middle account of what is known about early humans. The focus is on Africa, as would be expected from this author -- and from the mainstream view in current anthropology.

    26. Traces the evolution of growing understanding about the origin of the modern humans, mainly through paleontological endeavors, which itself goes through a growth spurt during the course of the book. Written in a lucid and interesting manner, supplemented with pictures of prominent hominid fossils and the main actors. More pictures and drawing of the hominid evolutionary tree would add to it.

    27. This is an excellent book for learning the basics of anthropology and archeological history. Meredith did a great job introducing the subject and making it accessible to all levels of understanding. It was a quick read - I spent about five hours reading it and that was with taking detailed notes. I definitely recommend it.

    28. An awesome introduction to some of the first and most famous paleoanthropologists, physical anthropologists, and even an osteologist or two. This book is written like a work of fiction but has some great information in it for those just delving in to the world of human origins. I really enjoyed it.

    29. Easy to understand and fascinating account of the archeological discoveries in Africa of the precursors to humans going back 7 million (!) years up until Cro-magnon appeared around 150,000-200,000 years ago.

    30. The perfect length book for a top line review on man's origin.The first part of the book takes us into the past -- where did we start?The second half brings us towards modern times -- h9ow did we end up here?

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