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Archaeology Books

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The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors 

Gibbons, A.
New York: Doubleday, 2006. ISBN 0385512260.
Ann Gibbons chronicles the fiercely competitive quest to discover our ancient relatives in her book. See also our review. 336 pages.
The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind, and Body 

Mithen, S.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006. ISBN 0674021924.
Move over, Mozart--you've got nothing on the Neandertals. Our beetle-browed cousins may not have mastered art or language, but they were maestros of music--and dance. See also our review. 384 pages.
The Complete World of Human Evolution 

Stringer, C., and P. Andrews
New York: Thames & Hudson, 2005. ISBN 0500051321.
British paleoanthropologists bring you up to speed on even the most recent discoveries. With 432 illustrations, half of them in color, and charts that show relationships and time frames, the mass of information is well organized, entertaining, and accessible. See also our review. 240 pages.
Piltdown Man: The Secret Life of Charles Dawson & the World's Greatest Archaeological Hoax 

Russell, M.
North Pomfret: Trafalgar Square Publishing, 2005. ISBN 0752425722.
The human and animal remains discovered at Piltdown, England almost 100 years ago were at the time hailed as “the missing link” between ape and man. It was not until 1953 that modern analysis conclusively revealed an ingenious hoax. The perpetrator was almost certainly antiquarian excavator Charles Dawson. For the last 50 years people have speculated on the identity and motive of the Piltdown forger. Author Mile Russell examines Dawson's life and career, revealing how he was responsible for sixteen other archaeological forgeries during his lifetime. 288 pages.
Brain Dance: New Discoveries About Human Origins and Brain Evolution 

Falk, D.
Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2004. ISBN 0813027381.
Dean Falk, paleoanthropologist, reexamines her groundbreaking research of how the human brain evolved and revealed how this process continues to impact our species. Around two million years ago, our earliest hominin ancestors experienced an explosive brain expansion, at least one million years after they began to walk upright. Falk further discusses the evolution of visual skills, right-handedness, language ability, right-brain/left brain and male/female differences, and the unique human ability to dance. 240 pages.
Dragon Bone Hill: An Ice Age Saga of Homo erectus 

Boaz, N., and R. Ciochon
New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0195152913.
A chronicle of the evolutionary career of H. erectus through the study of a collection of bones that came to light in the 1920s and 1930s at Longgushan (Dragon Bone Hill), a cave some 30 miles southwest of Beijing. Known popularly as Peking Man, the skeletal remains revolutionized our notions of early hominid anatomy. See also our review. 256 pages.
The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out Of Africa 

Oppenheimer, S.
New York: Caroll & Graf Publishers, 2004. ISBN 0786711922.
Thoroughly researched and meticulously argued, with evidence garnered from recent advances in the field of genetics through DNA analysis, Stephen Openheimer traces the evolution of modern humankind out of a common African ancestry. Openheimer establishes that the European Neanderthals, for instance, are not ancestors of modern humans but rather cousins who have stemmed from the same African root. 439 pages.
Genes, Memes, and Human History 

Shennan, S.
New York: Thames & Hudson, 2003. ISBN 0500051186.
The author presents an interpretation of human history by applying a theory of neo-Darwinian evolutionary ideas to archaeology. Through using scientific methods in studying genes and memes, Shennan provides a detailed explanation for many questions about human history and culture. 304 pages.
Human Evolution Cookbook 

Dibble, H., et al.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum, 2003. ISBN 1931707499.
A comical look at human evolution from the beginnings of bipedalism through the Upper Paleolithic. In the format of a cookbook, the history of human evolution is told through recipes, cartoons, and humor. 103 pages.
Style, Function, Transmission 

O'Brian, M., and R. Lyman
Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2003. ISBN 0874807476.
In discussing Charles Darwin and his impact on archaeology, cultural transmission is a focus of debate. The interrelations of a theory of cultural descent with modification and the concepts of drift, style, and function is presented. 358 pages.

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