The Human Lineage / Edition 1

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The Human Lineage focuses on the last ten million years of human history, from the hominoid radiations to the emergence and diversification of modern humanity. It draws upon the fossil record to shed light on the key scientific issues, principles, methods, and history in paleoanthropology. The book proceeds through the fossil record of human evolution by historical stages representing the acquisition of major human features that explain the success and distinctive properties of modern Homo sapiens.
• Provides thorough coverage of the fossil record and sites, with data on key variables such as cranial capacity and body size estimates
• Offers a balanced, critical assessment of the interpretative models explaining pattern in the fossil record
• Each chapter incorporates a "Blind Alley" box focusing on once prevalent ideas now rejected such as the arboreal theory, seed-eating, single-species hypothesis, and Piltdown man
• Promotes critical thinking by students while allowing instructors flexibility in structuring their teaching
• Densely illustrated with informative, well-labelled anatomical drawings and photographs
• Includes an annotated bibliography for advanced inquiry Written by established leaders in the field, providing depth of expertise on evolutionary theory and anatomy through to functional morphology, this textbook is essential reading for all advanced undergraduate students and beginning graduate students in biological anthropology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Human Lineage could be used as a sole text, supplemented with journal articles and library sources."  (PaleoAnthropology, 2010)

"Although paleoanthropology as a field moves rapidly the sheer quality of the writing and explanatory synthesis in this book will undoubtedly make it a valuable resource for students for many years." (PaleoAnthropology, July 2010)"The Human Lineage excels in providing rich detail and clear explanations for complex issues. This is true of the writing, but is particularly apparent in the 300 or so superb illustrations that detail dozens of fossils as well as anatomical structures and mechanics." (The Quarterly Review of Biology, March 2010)

"Cartmill and Smith have produced a generally excellent work for advanced students." (CHOICE, October 2009)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471214915
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/23/2009
  • Series: Foundation of Human Biology Series, #2
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 658,242
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Matt Cartmill is a Professor in the Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy at Duke University. His areas of interest include: Bipedal locomotion, Gait analysis, and Origin and differentiation of primates in addition to several other subjects.

Fred H. Smith is a biological antrhopologist with specific interests in human paleontology and functional anatomy. He teaches courses in human paleontology, human osteology, introductory biological anthropology, and the paleolithis prehistory of Europe and Africa.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Fossil Record.

Changing Ideas about the Changing Earth.

Neptune vs. Vulcan.

A Brief Guide to Sedimentology.

Dating the Rocks.

The Succession of Faunas.

Radiation-Based Dating Techniques.

Other Dating Techniques.

Dating Based on the Cycles of the Earth.

The Problem of Orogeny.

Continental Drift.

Life: The First Three Billion Years.

Multicellular Life.

The Cambrian Revolution.

Jaws, Fins, and Feet.

The Reptilian Revolutions.

The Two Great Extinctions.

The Mammals Take Over.

Chapter 2 Analyzing Evolution.

Parsimony and Pigeons.

Darwin’s Theory.

Problems with Darwinism.

The Concept of Species.

Evidence for Anagenesis and Cladogenesis.

The Tempo of Speciation.

Semispecies, Hybrids, and Isolating Mechanisms.


Species and Fossils.


Microevolution and Macroevolution.

The Politics of Macroevolution.

Reconstructing the Tree of Life.

Sources of Error in Phylogenetics.

Linnaean Classification.

Evolutionary Systematics.

Phenetics and Cladistics.

Pros and Cons of Phylogenetic Systematics.

Chapter 3 People As Primates.

Early Mammals.


Allometry and Early Mammals.

Death and Molar Occlusion.

Allometry, Motherhood, and Milk.

Respiration and the Palate.

The Tribosphenic Molar.

Live Birth and Placentation.

Cretaceous Mammals.

The Order Primates.

The Living Strepsirrhines.

Anthropoid Apomorphies: Ears, Eyes, and Noses.


Platyrrhines: The New World Anthropoids.

Cercopithecoids: The Old World Monkeys.

Hominoids: The Living Apes.

Pongids and Hominids.

Bonobos and Chimpanzees.

Humans vs. Apes: Skulls and Teeth.

Primate Origins: The Crown Group.

Fossil Primates: The Stem Group.

The First Fossil Euprimates.

Eocene “Lemurs” and “Tarsiers”.

The First Anthropoids.

Anthropoid Radiations.

Chapter 4 The Bipedal Ape.

Being Human vs. Becoming Human.

The Taung Child.

Australopithecus Grows Up.

Bipedal Posture and the Vertebral Column.

Bipedal Posture and the Pelvis.

Bipedal Locomotion: Knees.

Bipedal Locomotion: The Hip Joint.

Bipedal Locomotion: Feet.

Australopithecus Stands Up.

The Skull of Australopithecus africanus.

Australopithecus robustus.

Man-Apes, Just Plain Apes, or Weird Apes?

Postcranial Peculiarities.

Louis Leakey and East Africa.

Olduvai Gorge.

Sahelanthropus: The Oldest Hominin?

Mio-Pliocene Enigmas: Orrorin and Ardipithecus.

Australopithecus anamensis.

Australopithecus afarensis.

Lucy’s Locomotion: The View from Stony Brook.

Lucy’s Locomotion: The Rebuttal.

Lucy’s Locomotion: Persistent Questions.

Australopithecus bahrelghazali?

Australopithecus platyops?

Australopithecus garhi.

Australopithecus aethiopicus.

Australopithecus boisei.

Fitting in South Africa: The Problem(s) of Sterkfontein.

Fitting in South Africa: Some robustus Questions.

The Phylogeny of Australopithecus.

What Did Australopithecus Eat?

Australopithecus and the Ecosystem.

Two Species or Two Sexes?

Hunting, Gathering, and Dimorphism.

Dinichism: A Possible Synthesis.

Explaining Hominin Origins.

Primitive Homo—Or “Advanced” Australopithecus?

Dating and Geological Context of the Habilines from Olduvai, Omo, and Koobi Fora.

Habiline Skulls.

Habiline Teeth.

Habiline Postcranial Remains.

Advanced Australopithecus: The Frustrations of Variation.

Advanced Australopithecus: Back to South Africa.

Advanced Australopithecus or Early Homo? Phylogenetic Issues.

Chapter 5 The Migrating Ape: Homo erectus and Human Evolution.

The “Muddle in the Middle”.

A Brief History of Homo erectus: 1889–1950.

Later Discoveries in Africa and Eurasia.

Erectine Chronology and Geographic Distribution.

Cranial Vault Morphology of Homo erectus.

Cranial Capacity and the Brain.

Faces and Mandibles of Asian Homo erectus.

The Erectine Dentition.

Erectine Postcranial Remains.

Early African Erectine Skulls and the Ergaster Question.

Early African Erectine Postcranial Morphology.

Early Erectine Adaptations: Anatomy and Physiology.

Early Erectine Adaptations: The Archaeological Evidence.

Patterns of Development and Evolutionary Change in Erectines.

Early Erectine Radiations in Africa.

Out of Africa I: The Erectine Radiation.

Indonesian Erectines and the Specter of “Meganthropus”.

Chinese Erectines.

Dmanisi—Humans at the Periphery of Europe.

The Initial Occupation of Europe.

Major Issues: A Summing Up.


Dates and Additional Evidence.

Evolutionary Patterns.

Chapter 6 The Big-Brained Ape: Regional Variation and Evolutionary Trends in the Middle Pleistocene.

Of “Archaic Homo sapiens” and Homo heidelbergensis.

Early Models of Later Human Evolution.

The Recent African Origin Model.

The Multiregional Evolution Model.

European Heidelbergs.







Atapuerca—Sima de los Huesos.

Other European Heidelbergs.

African Heidelbergs.


Bodo and Ndutu.

African Heidelberg Mandibles.

Other African Heidelbergs.

North Africans.

Asian Heidelbergs?

Mugharet El-Zuttiyeh.

Other West Asian Candidates.

South Asia.

East Asia.



Liang Bua.

Supraorbital Tori, Chins, and Projecting Faces.

Major Issues: Speciation, Migration, and Regional Continuity.

Chapter 7 Talking Apes: The Neandertals.

Neandertals—Early Discoveries and Ideas (1829–1909).

Ideas about Neandertals—From Boule to the 21st Century.

Neandertal Chronology and Distribution.

Neandertal Morphology—The Cranial Vault.

Frontal Bones.

Occipital Bones.

Temporal Bones.


Neandertal Faces.

External Nose.


Internal Nose.

Neandertal Mandibles.

Neandertal Dentition.

Body Size and Proportions.

Neck and Upper Limb.

Pelvis and Lower Limb.

Neandertal Life History.

Neandertal Genetics.

Neandertal Technology.

Diet and Subsistence Behavior.

Neandertals and Language.

Symbolic Behavior.

Early European Neandertals.

Würm Neandertals from Western Europe.

Western and Central Asian Neandertals.

Late Neandertals.

Major Issues.

Chapter 8 The Symbolic Ape: The Origin of Modern Humans.

A “Creative Explosion”?

Modern Human Anatomy—The Skull.

Modern Human Anatomy—Cranial Capacity.

Modern Human Anatomy—The Postcranial Skeleton.

The Geochronology of Modern Human Origins.

The African Transition: Background and Dating.

The African Transition: Vault Morphology.

The African Transition: Facial Morphology.

The African Transition: Additional Bones, Archaeology, and Other Matters.

East Asian Archaic Humans: Background and Context.

East Asian Archaic Sites and Specimens.



Other Cranial Pieces.


East Asian Archaics: Continuity or Someone New?

Early Modern Humans: The East African Record.

Out of (East) Africa: Early Modern People in North and South Africa.

The First Modern People Outside Africa: The Near Eastern Evidence.

African and Circum-Mediterranean Gene Flow and Modern Human Origins.

Modern Human Origins in East Asia.

Modern Human Origins in Australasia.

Europe: The Last Frontier.

Recent Human Genetics and Modern Human Origins.

Ancient DNA in Early Modern Humans.

Modern Human Origins: The Models vs. the Facts.

The Recent African Origin Model.

Alternative Views—Multiregional Evolution.

Alternative Views—The Assimilation Model.

Assimilation and Interactions Between Modern and Archaic Humans.

Appendix: Cranial Measurements.



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  • Posted May 4, 2009

    best book on the market

    this is far the best textbook on human evolution currently available on the market. Matt Cartmill's insights into evolutionary mechanisms, mammalian & primate evolution, combined with Fred Smith's vast knowledge of human fossil record make this a very happy intelectual marriage. Further, both are great teachers with years of experience working with students. Although the book is quite detailed and voluminous, don't be scared off by this. The way they use scientific data is to tell a story - it is not ( unlike some other books out there) just another too detailed overview of everything there is. These guys tell us a human story and make sure to guide us along the way. Easy to read and with extensive list of used references. If you're seriously getting into the field of paleoanthropology, treat yourself with this volume. You won't be sorry.

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