Anthropology

Who we are and how we got here

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We are all profoundly mixed up genetically, and our ancestors were always moving. These are just two of the discoveries that David Reich presents in this exciting book about the ancient DNA revolution.

Reich starts by explaining how rapidly analysis into ancient DNA has developed. Since 2001, when the human genome was sequenced for the first time, research has ballooned as costs have diminished and automation has mushroomed.

Anthropology at the Dawn of the Cold War

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Dustin M. Wax, Pluto Press, £18.99

At its best, anthropology is about asking the big questions. Is there such a thing as human nature? What is the difference between humans and other animals? How can we account for the myriad of ways people have developed to live on this planet?

This collection of essays, edited by Dustin M Wax, is a useful reminder of the political significance of these questions and the extent to which governments have been prepared to go to ensure that they get the "right" answers.

Anthropology: The Pitter-Patter of Tiny Feet

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The discovery of a new hominid species is a major blow to those trying to reduce human beings to a set of genes. Some 'scientists' were reported to be looking for a gene for homelessness!

How can a species half our size, with a proportionately smaller brain have been a skilled tool-maker with apparently human, cultural behaviour?

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