The World Before Us The New Science Behind Our Human Origins-A review!!!

This is a new book, published this year around the world, and most recently here in the U.S just the other week! 

Well, I had a chance to “sit down” with the author, Tom Higham, and discuss the field of Anthropology in general, Radio Carbon Dating, and of course, his new book! 

So to go along with our video, we are going to have a quick, but informative review of the book. 

I am going to reveal the review first, and then will be posting our interview at a later time. But I wanted to get this out now! 

Ok, so let me start by saying, I am so delighted to see how many Anthropology books have been published in just the last year. This field is picking up, new blood enters the field each day. The older generation of Anthropologists, such as those of the famed “Hominid Gang”, those that followed was a very different type of scientist, those such as Chris Stringer, Lee Berger, and Tom himself. 

Originally from New Zealand, and who has since called many places home, Professor Tom Higham worked at Oxford in the Radio Carbon laboratory, and now finds himself at the University of Vienna, Germany, is one of the nicest people I have talked to, and I just can’t wait for all of you to watch our talk!! 

It’s also the first video with our new equipment! So that will be fun! 

But back to the book!

So, being an expert, and I do mean that, one of the world’s most renowned Radio Carbon Laboratories in the world, Tom knows a good deal about this technology and how it works. 

Since his age range is boing back about 55k years, his studies surround Anatomically Modern Humans, Neanderthals, Denisovans, and pretty much all Hominins at some point. His masterful way of explaining the complicated concepts that he was communicating is fleshed out in this book in such a way that anyone can pick up the book, and be transported back about 400,000 until today. 

We learn all about the daily life of Neanderthals, and how their culture was so much more advanced than anyone would have thought just twenty years ago. We learn about their anatomy, morphology, and culture. We learn about their evolutionary history and how they relate to us. Everything is explained so concisely and in a way that flows very naturally. 

We then, in the book, travel around a few couple thousand years or so. and discuss the lesser-known Denisovans. Tom has spent an impressive amount of time in the Altai Mountains working on dating these incredible fossils, adding to the story of human origins. 

Eventually, we get to us, (Homo sapiens) and learn about our divergence from a common ancestor with Neanderthals.

The book is well written, clear, and readable at any level. If you want to learn about the Neanderthals, or any Hominin for that fact, that lived in the last half a million years, The author uses common language to describe complex scientific theories and ideas, concepts, and notions. 

Along with Kindred by Rebecca Wragg-Sykes, this is easily in my new top 10 Modern Anthropology Books, and it is a premise source of information for Neanderthals, and other humans living during that time. 

Neanderthals are so delegated to the “Caveman” stereotype, these books will end that for you immediately. They were our cousins, closer to us than we can even imagine. So much closer to ourselves, than scientists ever thought! 

They had rich, diverse culture, critical thinking, language, art, and so much more.

Not only is this a great way to learn about Neanderthals, but it is also a great book to start off learning about Paleoanthropology.

Long story short, this book is a great example of science communication, which is becoming more and more important in our everyday lives. 

So, the last thing I’ll say about Prof. Higham’s new books is….


Published by sethchagi

I am a Paleoanthropology Student, so far with two degrees, in Anthropology and Human Behavioral Science, pursuing my B.A and then my PhD I love to read (like a lot) and write, I love my family, and I adore anthropology! Remember, never stop exploring and never stop learning! There is always more to learn!

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