On the slopes of the Nariokotome sand river in Kenya, sifting through sediments more than a million years old, Kamoya Kimeu uncovered a small piece of a skull. Piece followed piece—facial bones, teeth, vertebrae—and little by little paleontologists put together the most complete early hominid ever discovered, a Homo erectus skeleton christened the Nariokotome boy. This phenomenal find, a milestone in the history of paleoanthropology, is fully documented in this remarkable book. Beautifully illustrated and richly descriptive, The Nariokotome Homo erectus Skeleton takes us into the field and the laboratory, and into the far reaches of prehistory, to show us what the fossilized remains of a young boy can tell us about our beginnings.
Walker and Leakey’s book brings together contributions by experts in paleobiology, geology, anatomy, anthropology and ecology. It is a stunning detective story, and a satisfying demonstration of the power of the scientific method to give flesh to the past.
The information provided by the various studies reported in this volume is of immense value to our knowledge of human evolutionary history. The authors and editors have provided a model for descriptive and comparative analyses against which all subsequent endeavors will be measured. In my opinion, this work will stand as one of the classics of paleoanthropology.
What impressed me most about the volume is that, apart from the basic description of the fossil, which itself is of great importance, the editors have sought out leading experts to tackle problems relating to specific issues in the evolutionary biology of Homo erectus. Many of these chapters would stand alone as major contributions. Together, they make a remarkable volume.
- 9 x 11 inches
- Harvard University Press
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