Summary: Very old, very sophisticated tools found in India throw new light on the timeline of the journey of hominins
The author's background as a scientific writer, her fascination with human origins and her interest in the discovery of hominin
bones on an Indonesian island combine to produce a well written and exciting story with themes of scientific discovery, identity, exploitation and friendship.
No one thought that a small-brained, primitive hominin
could extend down through time this long and that period is exactly the moment when we thought modern humans were arising here in Africa," said Lee Berger, project leader for Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand.
In order to properly explain how the multi-layered factors at play in this region determined human evolution--through the stages of bipedalism, the emergence of various other hominins
such as Sahelanthropus tchadensis and Homo erectus, before finally Homo sapiens arrived--we need to understand the interplay between global climates and tectonic activity.
These Acheulean cleavers and hand axes set hominins
on an evolutionary path, which eventually led to music about 900,000 years later.
For example, Lambros Malafouris in How Things Shape the Mind uses the extended mind theory to re-think our assumptions about how early hominins
created axes 2.
He uses fossils, the preserved remains of living things, to build realistic models of ancient hominins
We have since learned that many kinds of hominin
have walked the earth.
Then, some 50,000 years ago, a new hominin
species arrived in Eurasia from Africa, Homo sapiens.
In total, 15 skeletons were discovered in the cave, representing the largest ever discovery of hominin
fossils on the continent of Africa.
The find -- Africa's largest single collection of hominin
(human and human-related) fossils -- was made up of 15 individuals, from infants to the elderly, pieced together from more than 1,500 fragments.
Experts believe the slender hominin
, whose age is uncertain but may have lived around two million years ago, had used the cave as a burial chamber.