Pamela Willoughby provides a wide-ranging synthesis of current knowledge about the evolution of fully modern humans in Africa during the Middle Palaeolithic / Middle Stone Age. According to most scholars, our modern ancestors first emerged in Africa and then spread throughout the habitable world. Willoughby brings evidence from mitochondrial DNA, ancient fossils, and archaeological remains (including her own research in Tanzania) to bear on questions regarding the place of human species in nature, the specific origins of Homo Sapiens, and the dispersal of these modern humans throughout Africa and around the globe. She confronts straightforwardly the problems of dating the earliest modern humans, and she discusses the various alternative models of modern human origins, which will be debated for years to come. The Evolution of Modern Humans in Africa is a compelling, thought-provoking book for both students and scholars.
Pamela R. Willoughby is Professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta.
Table of Contents
Chapter 0 Foreword Chapter 1 Modern Human Origins: A People Without History Chapter 2 Historical Perspectives: The Place of Humans in Nature Chapter 3 The Paleoenvironmental Context: The Origin and Dispersal of Modern Humans Chapter 4 The Chronological Framework: Dating the Appearance and Spread of Homo Sapiens Chapter 5 Out of Africa: When and How many times? Alternative Models of Modern Human Origins Chapter 6 Mitochondrial Eve and the Middle Stone Age: Genetics and Human Variation Chapter 7 The Fossil Hominin Evidence Chapter 8 The Archaeological Evidence from North Africa Chapter 9 The Archaeological Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa I Chapter 10 The Archaeological Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa II Chapter 12 Conclusions: What Does It Mean to Be a Modern Homo Sapiens? 13 References