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The Evolution of Modern Humans in Africa. A Comprehensive Guide . By Pamela R. Willoughby . AltaMira Press, Lanham, 2006, 462 pp. ISBN 978-0-7591-0119-7 (paperback). US$ 53.95.

The Evolution of Modern Humans in Africa. A Comprehensive Guide . By Pamela R. Willoughby .... Over the last two decades, archaeologists and palaeoanthropologists seeking the origins of modern human anatomy and behaviour have increasingly shifted their focus from the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic "revolution" in Europe to a less well-explored, and arguably earlier and more gradual transition in Africa. A number of review articles, some edited volumes and human evolution textbooks have recently addressed the African evidence. However, to date there has been no synthesis of the subject. Willoughby applies a multidisciplinary and geographically broad approach to the study of modern human origins and excels at providing, as the title suggests, a very comprehensive guide. The introductory chapter lays out the major problems and controversies, which are addressed in subsequent chapters from various disciplinary angles, drawing on genetic, chronometric, fossil and archaeological data from across Africa and from selected sites in Eurasia. An excellent 74-page bibliography includes references through 2005. Willoughby's introduction immediately hones in on the most divergent views of the origins of modern human behaviour (MHB): one argues that MHB appeared late (<50 Ka), is mainly visible in the South African and European archaeological records, and was a punctuated event, possibly resulting from biological change (e.g., klein 2000); the other argues http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

The Evolution of Modern Humans in Africa. A Comprehensive Guide . By Pamela R. Willoughby . AltaMira Press, Lanham, 2006, 462 pp. ISBN 978-0-7591-0119-7 (paperback). US$ 53.95.

Journal of African Archaeology , Volume 6 (2): 271 – Oct 25, 2008

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2008 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/1612-1651-10114
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Over the last two decades, archaeologists and palaeoanthropologists seeking the origins of modern human anatomy and behaviour have increasingly shifted their focus from the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic "revolution" in Europe to a less well-explored, and arguably earlier and more gradual transition in Africa. A number of review articles, some edited volumes and human evolution textbooks have recently addressed the African evidence. However, to date there has been no synthesis of the subject. Willoughby applies a multidisciplinary and geographically broad approach to the study of modern human origins and excels at providing, as the title suggests, a very comprehensive guide. The introductory chapter lays out the major problems and controversies, which are addressed in subsequent chapters from various disciplinary angles, drawing on genetic, chronometric, fossil and archaeological data from across Africa and from selected sites in Eurasia. An excellent 74-page bibliography includes references through 2005. Willoughby's introduction immediately hones in on the most divergent views of the origins of modern human behaviour (MHB): one argues that MHB appeared late (<50 Ka), is mainly visible in the South African and European archaeological records, and was a punctuated event, possibly resulting from biological change (e.g., klein 2000); the other argues

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2008

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