Africa does not give up its secrets easily. Buried there lie answers about the origins of humankind. After a century of investigation, scientists have transformed our understanding about the beginnings of human life. But vital clues still remain hidden.
In Born in Africa, Martin Meredith follows the trail of discoveries about human origins made by scientists over the last hundred years, recounting their intense rivalry, personal feuds, and fierce controversies, as well as their feats of skill and endurance. The results have been momentous. Scientists have identified more than 20 species of extinct humans. They have firmly established Africa as the birthplace not only of humankind but also of modern humans. They have revealed how early technology, language ability, and artistic endeavour all originated in Africa; and they have shown how small groups of Africans spread out from Africa in an exodus 60,000 years ago to populate the rest of the world. We have all inherited an African past.
©2011 Martin Meredith (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"An appealing account of human evolution and the fiercely competitive anthropologists who are unearthing our ancestors’ remains and arguing over what they mean…. The author does a superb job of describing the nuts-and-bolts of field research, the meaning of the often headline-producing findings and the ever-changing variety of species who split off from the common ancestors of chimpanzees and hominids." (Kirkus Reviews)
Someone who falls asleep whilst reading, and stays awake when listening. Discovering the classics and sci-fi my young mind missed.
A great book filled with great information. This book is as much about the people who made the discoveries as the discoveries themselves. Personally I would have preferred less of the people story but regardless it was well worth the read and I got a huge amount of information from the book.
Born in Africa provides an overview of our human ancestors along with those responsible for the discoveries. I thought it was a nice balance between evolutionary science and simply telling the story of the individuals and what they faced. Martin Meredith did not shy away from pointing out the competing groups, as well as some of the politics and even supposed back-stabbing that happened between prominent paleoanthropologists. If you are looking for something that gets in to the down and dirty of human ancestry, look elsewhere. However I think this is must read for any anthropology student or anyone looking for a foundation in the history of human ancestry.
A very nice history of work on human fossils. Shortcomings in over simplistic representation of modern debates
Also, nearly complete absence of discussion of impact of colonialism and racism.
Ruined by Narrator.
This narrator obviously knew nothing of the topic. Perhaps he would do well reading a novel of a non-scientific topic, set in America but his mispronunciation of scientific words as well as Swahili proper names was painful to listen to. It took away so much from my enjoyment of the book. I wold not listen to another book read by this man. His failure to correctly pronounce scientific vernacular caused me to question much about the book.
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