Africa does not give up its secrets easily. Buried there lie answers about the origins of humankind. After a century of investigation, scientists have transformed our understanding of the beginnings of human life. But vital clues still remain hidden.
In Born in Africa, Martin Meredith follows the trail of discoveries about our human origins made by scientists over the last hundred years, as well as describing the history of scholarship in this exciting field. He recounts their intense rivalry, personal feuds and fierce controversies as well as their feats of skill and endurance.
The results have been momentous. Scientists have identified more than twenty species of extinct humans. They have firmly established Africa as the birthplace not only of humankind but also of modern humans. They have revealed how early technology, language ability and artistic endeavour all originated in Africa; and they have shown how, in an exodus sixty thousand years ago, small groups of Africans spread out from Africa to populate the rest of the world.
Martin Meredith is a journalist, biographer and historian who has written extensively on Africa and its recent history. He is the author of many books about the continent, including The State of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence; Diamonds, Gold and War: The Making of South Africa; The Fortunes of Africa: A 5000-Year History of Wealth, Greed and Endeavour; and Mandela: A Biography. He lives near Oxford.
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