Description

Author: Alice Roberts


Alice Roberts has been travelling the world - from Ethiopian desert to
Malay peninsula and from Russian steppes to Amazon basin - in order to
understand the challenges that early humans faced as they tried to settle
continents. On her travels she has witnessed some of the daunting and
brutal challenges our ancestors had to face: mountains, deserts, oceans,
changing climates, terrifying giant beasts and volcanoes. But she discovers
that perhaps the most serious threat of all came from other humans. When
our ancestors set out from Africa there were already two other species of
human on the planet: Neanderthal in Europe and Homo erectus in Asia. Both
(contrary to popular perception) were intelligent, adept at making tools
and weapons and were long adapted to their environments. So, Alice asks,
why did only Homo sapiens survive? Part detective story, part travelogue,
and drawing on the latest genetic and archaeological discoveries, Alice
examines how our ancestors evolved physically in response to these
challenges, finding out how our colour, shape, size, diet, disease
resistance and even athletic ability have been shaped by the range of
environments that our ancestors had to survive. She also relates how
astonishingly closely related we all are. As a lecturer in Anatomy at
Bristol University, Alice Roberts is eminently qualified to write this
book. As a talented artist, she is perfectly qualified to illustrate it,
and dotted throughout this lively book are many of the sketches and
photographs from her travels.

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