|The odyssey revealed -- The odyssey begins -- Out of Africa -- New species emerge -- The mysterious newcomer -- Stretching the boundaries -- How food production changed the world -- Homelands of plant and animal domestication -- Voices from the deep past -- The Fertile Crescent and Western Eurasia -- Asia-Pacific adventures -- Africa, Australia, and the Americas -- Ape to agriculture.
|"Human beings are incredibly diverse, from appearance and language to culture. How do we understand this diversity as a product of evolution and migration over millions of years? In this book, Peter Bellwood brings together biology, archaeology, linguistics, and anthropology to provide a sweeping look at human evolution from 5 million years ago to the rise of agriculture and civilization, presenting modern human diversity as a product of the shared history of human populations around the world. Bellwood opens the book by explaining what allows us to understand and reconstruct the human past, including the importance of archaeological, biological, and cultural approaches as well as an understanding of climate and chronology on vast time scales. From there he proceeds forward in time from the split with chimpanzees c. 6 million years ago, the emergence of Homo 2.5 million years ago, and the appearance of modern humans c. 300,000 years ago. Each chapter is driven by a set of major questions that we have new answers to, such as when did human first leave Africa?, was Homo a new species?, what was the path of migration for early humans and did early humans have discernible social life and material culture? Moving forward in time, Bellwood describes cultural and then linguistic evolution over the last 20,000 years, again driving each chapter with big questions. He concludes the book by asking how much human behavior has changed based on what we know about the past and whether humans are still evolving genetically and culturally. Ultimately, this book shows that to understand human history and ongoing modern human diversity we must first understand human populations as a the result of millions of years of shared genetic and cultural evolution"-- Provided by publisher.
|"The epic story of human evolution, from our primate beginnings more than five million years ago to the agricultural era. Over the course of five million years, our primate ancestors evolved from a modest population of sub-Saharan apes into the globally dominant species Homo sapiens. Along the way, humans became incredibly diverse in appearance, language, and culture. How did all of this happen? In The Five-Million-Year Odyssey, Peter Bellwood synthesizes research from archaeology, biology, anthropology, and linguistics to immerse us in the saga of human evolution, from the earliest traces of our hominin forebears in Africa, through waves of human expansion across the continents, and to the rise of agriculture and explosive demographic growth around the world. Bellwood presents our modern diversity as a product of both evolution, which led to the emergence of the genus Homo approximately 2.5 million years ago, and migration, which carried humans into new environments. He introduces us to the ancient hominins-including the australopithecines, Homo erectus, the Neanderthals, and others-before turning to the appearance of Homo sapiens circa 300,000 years ago and subsequent human movement into Eurasia, Australia, and the Americas. Bellwood then explores the invention of agriculture, which enabled farmers to disperse to new territories over the last 10,000 years, facilitating the spread of language families and cultural practices. The outcome is now apparent in our vast array of contemporary ethnicities, linguistic systems, and customs. The fascinating origin story of our varied human existence, The Five-Million-Year Odyssey underscores the importance of recognizing our shared genetic heritage to appreciate what makes us so diverse"-- Provided by publisher.
|Includes bibliographical references and index.
|Issued in other form
|Online version: Bellwood, Peter S. Five million year odyssey Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 2022 9780691236339