The World Before Us: How Science is Revealing a New Story of Our Human Origins

May 4, 2021
The World Before Us: How Science is Revealing a New Story of Our Human Origins

'Fascinating and entertaining. If you read one book onhuman origins, this should be it' Ian Morris, author ofWhy the West Rules - For Now'The who, what, where, when and how of human evolution,from one of the world's experts on the dating of prehistoricfossils' Steve Brusatte, author of The Rise and Fallof the Dinosaurs50,000 years ago, we were not the only species of humanin the world. There were at least four others, includingthe Neanderthals, Homo floresiensis, Homo luzonesis andthe Denisovans. At the forefront of the latter's ground-breakingdiscovery was Oxford Professor Tom Higham. In The World Before Us,he explains the scientific and technological advancements - inradiocarbon dating and ancient DNA, for example - that allowed eachof these discoveries to be made, enabling us to be more accurate inour predictions about not just how long ago these other humanslived, but how they lived, interacted and live on in our genestoday. This is the story of us, told for the first time with itsfull cast of characters.'The application of new genetic science to pre-historyis analogous to how the telescope transformed astronomy. Tom Highambrings us to the frontier of recent discoveries with a book that isboth gripping and fun' Paul Collier, author of TheBottom Billion'This exciting book shows that we now have arevolutionary new tool for reconstructing the human past: DNA fromminute pieces of tooth and bone, and even from the dirt on thefloor of caves' David Abulafia, author of TheBoundless Sea'The remarkable new science of palaeoanthropology, fromlab bench to trench' Rebecca Wragg Sykes, author ofKindred'Higham's thrilling account makes readers feel as ifthey were participating themselves in the extraordinary series ofevents that in the last few years has revealed our long-lostcousins' David Reich, author of Who We Are and How WeGot Here'A brilliant distillation of the ideas and discoveriesrevolutionising our understanding of human evolution'Chris Gosden, author of The History of Magic