Cover: Making Faces: The Evolutionary Origins of the Human Face, from Harvard University PressCover: Making Faces in HARDCOVER

Making Faces

The Evolutionary Origins of the Human Face

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Product Details


$49.00 • £39.95 • €44.00

ISBN 9780674725522

Publication Date: 01/02/2017


472 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

22 color illustrations, 54 line illustrations, 2 graphs

Belknap Press


Tracing our evolutionary history back to the emergence of the first vertebrates some 500 million years ago, Wilkins pairs biological and genetic studies with the archaeological record to examine how humans developed the most expressive faces in the animal kingdom. It was an intriguing transformation that also provided the foundation for some of our species’ unique characteristics, including the neural and muscular mechanisms necessary for speech, the cognitive ability to interpret emotional responses, and thereby sociability and culture. The book…gives a truly fresh appreciation of the wonders of the human face—even if they are still lost on us first thing in the morning.—Nicholas Bartos, Current World Archaeology

This engaging and highly readable book offers a lucid account of the diverse areas of ‘scientific investigation’ that have shaped contemporary understanding of the evolution of the human face… [It] will appeal to any individual with an interest in human evolution and biology.—T. Harrison, Choice

Making Faces is a highly readable account of how and why the human face is the way it is. Wilkins lucidly weaves together over a century of research on the development, anatomy, and evolution with new provocative ideas.—Daniel E. Lieberman, author of The Evolution of the Human Head

Making Faces makes faces fascinating by opening a window onto an intriguing biological landscape. Lucid accounts of the roles played by genes, bones, muscle, and brain foreshadow provocative questions about race, sex, and psychology. Wilkins’s elegant account is a guide not only to what we see in the mirror, but also to the latest and the best in human evolution.—Richard Wrangham, author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

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