Monday, April 2, 2012

Chris Stringer's "Lone Survivors"

Chris Stringer is the author of The Complete World of Human Evolution, Homo britannicus, and more than two hundred books and papers on the subject of human evolution. One of the world's foremost paleoanthropologists, he is a researcher at the Natural History Museum in London and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Stringer applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth, and reported the following:
My book Lone Survivors takes a very broad look at the evidence used to reconstruct the evolution of our species Homo sapiens, bringing in data from my own area of palaeontology, from geology and dating, archaeology and other behavioural sciences, and genetics. I have also tried to get beyond the usual material that features in such books - the most famous sites - and instead have tried to cover less spectacular, but still informative, discoveries. Page 99 [inset left, click to enlarge] in my book is just such an example, where I discuss finds from the Turkish site of Üçağızlı (pronounced "ewch-au-zluh") Cave. Although the human fossils from there are very fragmentary, the site has a rich record of human behaviour from about 40,000 years ago, and provides a key marker for the movement of modern humans from Africa, through western Asia, and into southern Europe. In particular, the presence of shell beads provides a direct link between much earlier modern humans known from Africa and Israel, and the best known of all the early moderns, the Cro-Magnons of Europe.
Learn more about Lone Survivors at the publisher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue