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The Neandertals : Changing the Image of Mankind - Professor of Anthropology Erik Trinkaus

The Neandertals

Changing the Image of Mankind

Hardcover

Published: 1st January 2001
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In 1856, at the very time when Charles Darwin was writing The Origin of Species, which would popularize the revolutionary concept of evolution worldwide, the fossilized remains of a stocky, powerful, human-like creature were discovered in a German valley called Neandertal. The bones were believed by some scientists to have belonged to a primitive version of modern man. But how old were they? Thus began a controversy that has continued to this day, swirling around the origins and interpretation of the Neandertals, placing them at every possible location on our family tree. Now, Erik Trinkaus, one of the world's leading experts on Neandertals, has collaborated with the noted scientist and writer Pat Shipman on a sweeping and definitive examination of what we know and how we've come to know it. Neandertals, who clearly represent a phase of human evolution, possessed their own unique qualities that made them neither chimpanzee nor modern human. The nature of those qualities - and how Neandertals were discovered, debated, studied, and analyzed over the years - is presented with authority and anecdotal richness. The story ranges from the days of Georges Cuvier (known as "Magician of the Charnel House" for his ability to reconstruct from piles of bones a whole animal skeleton) to the latest researchers whose work with DNA has raised the possibility that we are all descended from one African woman (the "Eve" theory). The controversy carries over from the elite scientific societies of Victorian England and nineteenth-century universities in France and Germany to American laboratories. Along the way there are anthropologists painfully accumulating specimens in digs as distant as Belgium and SouthAfrica, Java and the hills outside Beijing, gradually building up a substantial base for legitimate theorizing (illegitimate, too - the tale of the Piltdown hoax is an enlightening interlude). A contentious, combative saga unfolds of vested interests and accepted wisdom clashing

"A remarkable account of humankind, both ancient and modern, told with clarity, precision, and the narrative pull of a good novel." -- Jean Auel, Washington Post Book World "Sketching in the lives of hundred of scientists and their discoveries, conclusions, blunders, and foibles...The Neandertals could stand as a textbook for a course in the history of science...Gripping." -- The New York Times Book Review

ISBN: 9781597402200
ISBN-10: 1597402206
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 484
Published: 1st January 2001
Publisher: ACLS History E-Book Project
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.84