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Social Sciences - Anthropology & Archaeology | The First Humans

The First Humans

Origin and Early Evolution of the Genus Homo

Grine, Frederick E., Fleagle, John G, Leakey, Richard E. (Eds.)

2009, XII, 220p. 15 illus. in color.

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  • Addresses the origin and early evolution of the human genus Homo
  • New techniques and interpretations have opened up other avenues of enquiry and have led to new questions
  • Updates, addresses and synthesizes our current understanding of this significant development in human evolution

This volume addresses the origin of the human genus Homo, a major transition in human evolution and associated with major changes in brain size, locomotion, and culture, but one with many unanswered questions. How many different species of Homo were there, and how were they interrelated? Are stone tools a characteristic of early Homo? What was their function? How does the use of stone tools relate to changes in the dentition and brain size? Did adaptations for long distance running first appear with the origin of this genus? How does this relate to its diet and cultural abilities.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Archaeology - Life History - Locomotion - Paleoanthropology - human evolution

Related subjects » Anthropology & Archaeology

Table of contents 

Part I. Retrospectives and Theoretical Perspectives 1. Early humans: of whom do we speak? Richard E. Leakey 2. Homo habilis - a premature discovery: remembered by one of its founding fathers, 42 years later Phillip V. Tobia 3. Where does the genus Homo begin, and how would we know? Bernard Wood Part II. Craniodental Perspectives on Taxonomy and Systematics 4. The origin of Homo William H. Kimbel 5. Comparisons of Early Pleistocene skulls from East Africa and the Georgian Caucasus: evidence bearing on the origin and systematics of genus Homo G. Philip Rightmire and David Lordkipanidze 6. Phenetic affinities of Plio-Pleistocene Homo fossils from South Africa: molar cusp proportions Frederick E. Grine, Heather F. Smith, Christopher P. Heesy and Emma J. Smith Part III. Postcranial Perspectives on Locomotion and Adaptation 7. Evolution of the hominin shoulder: early Homo Susan G. Larson 8. Brains, brawn, and the evolution of human endurance running capabilities Daniel E. Lieberman, Dennis M. Bramble, David A. Raichlen and John J. Shea 9. Interlimb proportions in humans and fossil hominins: variability and scaling William L. Jungers Part IV. Perspectives on Development, Diet and Behavior 10. Growth and development of the Nariokotome youth, KNM-WT 15000 M. Christopher Dean and B. Holly Smith 11. Dental evidence for diets of early Homo Peter S. Ungar and Robert S. Scott 12. Origins and adaptations of early Homo: what archaeology tells us Hélène Roche, Robert J. Blumenschine and John J. Shea Part V. Environmental and Ecological Perspectives 13. Plio-Pleistocene EastAfrican pulsed climate variability and its influence on early human evolution. Mark A. Maslin and Martin H. Trauth 14. Tracking ecological change in relation to the emergence of Homo near the Plio-Pleistocene boundary. Kaye E. Reed and Samantha M. Russak 15. Ecology of Plio-Pleistocene mammals in the Omo-Turkana Basin and the emergence of Homo. René Bobe and Meave G. Leakey 16. Biogeochemical evidence for the environments of early Homo in South Africa Matt Sponheimer and Julia Lee-Thorp Part VI. Summary Perspective on the Workshop 17. The first humans: a summary perspective on the origin and early evolution of the genus Homo. Frederick E. Grine and John G. Fleagle

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