The Hobbit who helped us find our origins

Chris Stringer on how a series of extraordinary finds has transformed our view of human history – and of the cousins with whom we long shared the planet .

Human beings have come to dominate our planet like no other creature before us. Today, our seven-billion-strong population inhabits most of the surface of the world, secure in its status as the only truly intelligent species on Earth.

Yet if we look even a little way back into the planet’s history, we come to a time – possibly as recently as 50,000 years ago – when there may have been as many as seven distinct types of human, from Africa to Europe to the wilds of Siberia and the remote islands of Indonesia. We, Homo sapiens, are the sole survivor of this menagerie – but for most of human history, we were not alone.

So where did these other “humans” come from? And what happened to them to leave us as the only human denizens of the Earth? In recent years, a slew of exciting discoveries in Africa, Europe and elsewhere has turned the received wisdom on its head. We have learned that the story of our origins is far more interesting – and complicated – than we ever thought.

  1. darkestilluminations reblogged this from xmorbidcuriosityx
  2. mutantnotgay reblogged this from nomchimpsky
  3. nomchimpsky reblogged this from theladygoogle
  4. theladygoogle reblogged this from alphacaeli
  5. alphacaeli reblogged this from xmorbidcuriosityx
  6. xmorbidcuriosityx posted this