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By David W. Phillipson

David Phillipson offers an illustrated account of African prehistory, from the origins of humanity via eu colonization during this revised and increased variation of his unique paintings. Phillipson considers Egypt and North Africa of their African context, comprehensively reviewing the archaeology of West, East, critical and Southern Africa. His booklet demonstrates the relevance of archaeological examine to figuring out modern Africa and stresses the continent's contribution to the cultural background of humankind.

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It has long been conventional to apply the informal terms ‘hominoid’ to humans and the closely related great or anthropoid apes, and ‘hominid’ to humans and their ancestors after the separation from the apes. We shall turn below to the problem of defining the term ‘human’; first it is necessary to record that recent genetic studies demonstrate a remarkably close affinity between apes and humans (Goodman et al. 1990; Gagneux et al. 1999), to the extent that it has been suggested that a distinction at this level cannot be substantiated and that apes should be regarded as hominids, the term ‘hominin’ being proposed in its place to exclude the apes.

1987), by which time Homo cf. habilis was present. These specimens, with those from the Nachukui Formation the earliest artefacts known from the Lake Turkana Basin, are simple flakes struck from small nodules of quartz, which was the only suitable material available in the area (Fig. 13). They are attributed to the mode-1 Oldowan industry; their characteristics and significance are discussed below. 2 million years ago. Detailed studies have demonstrated the local circumstances in which the deposits were laid down, and thus the immediate environments in which the various species represented in the fossil assemblages lived and died.

17: Calcified breccia and travertine deposits at Taung. The cairn in the foreground commemorates the discovery of Australopithecus africanus in 1924. 43 44 afric an archaeolog y of a magnificently preserved complete skull of a juvenile hominid who had probably been about three years old at the time of death. Publication of the specimen (Dart 1925) stressed the view that it belonged to a previously unknown creature intermediate between apes and modern humans. It was on the basis of this single, immature specimen that Australopithecus africanus was named.

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