Human Origins Illustrated (the fixed layout ebook version) provides a richly illustrated and comprehensive narrative of our deep past or ‘Big History’ – tracing out the major events from the big bang to the present with an emphasis on the last million years. The latest evidence from fossil bones, stone tools, artefacts and ancient DNA reveals how diet, past climate and landscape shaped many of the features that make us human.
Did our species originate in the southern coastal region of South Africa as groups, isolated and under pressure, incorporated seafood into their diet for the first time?
Do the first appearances of symbolic artefacts at the far northern and southern tips of Africa indicate that these areas served as the initial engine rooms of our cultural evolution?
How did control of fire initiate behaviours that farming and the Industrial Revolution would amplify to propel us, the human ‘superorganism’ to where we find ourselves today with over 7 billion of us straining the planet to its limits?
Ours is a deep, complex, incomplete and highly contentious history, but one that can enlighten us as to who we are and where we might be headed...