By D. W. Phillipson David W. Phillipson

David Phillipson offers an illustrated account of African prehistory, from the origins of humanity via ecu colonization during this revised and accelerated variation of his unique paintings. Phillipson considers Egypt and North Africa of their African context, comprehensively reviewing the archaeology of West, East, important and Southern Africa. His publication demonstrates the relevance of archaeological learn to knowing modern Africa and stresses the continent's contribution to the cultural background of humankind.

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Details of individual sites with their archaeological components and interpretations will follow in later sections. 4 million years ago (White et al. 1994). Originally attributed to the genus Australopithecus, this creature had teeth rather like those of a chimpanzee, although it was probably largely bipedal; it evidently inhabited a moist The emergence of humankind in Africa 27 woodland environment. 9 million years old, are remains of Australopithecus anamensis from two sites in the Lake Turkana basin of northern Kenya (M.

It should be stressed that there is particular controversy concerning the relationship between Australopithecus and the earliest members of the genus Homo; some authorities (Wood and Collard 1999) deny that two genera are represented, regarding H. habilis as a gracile australopithecine. The dispute serves to emphasise the difficulty, noted above, of describing evolutionary processes in Linnaean terms. To conclude this survey of early hominid evolution, it may be instructive briefly to compare the physical features of Australopithecus africanus both with a modern person and with a modern great ape, in this instance a gorilla (Fig.

Specimens of P. 6 million years ago; from the beginning of this time-span, Oldowan artefacts are also attested (H. Roche et al. 1999). 6 million years ago, a more advanced hominid is attested in the fossil record by a partial male skeleton from Nariokotome which may confidently be attributed to H. ergaster (A. C. Walker and Leakey 1993). This juvenile individual, further discussed in chapter 3, had an even larger cranial capacity than his predecessors, and presented a striking contrast with P. ) boisei, which may have been his only hominid contemporary.

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