Masters of the planet : the search for our human origins / Ian Tattersall.

  • Tattersall, Ian.
  • Books

About this work


"When homo sapiens made their entrance 100,000 years ago they were confronted by a wide range of other early humans--homo erectus, who walked better and used fire; homo habilis who used tools; and of course the Neanderthals, who were brawny and strong. But shortly after their arrival, something happened that vaulted the species forward and made them the indisputable masters of the planet. This book is devoted to revealing just what that difference is. It explores how the physical traits and cognitive ability of homo sapiens distanced them from the rest of nature. Even more importantly, Masters of the Planet looks at how our early ancestors acquired these superior abilities; it shows that their strange and unprecedented mental facility is not, as most of us were taught, simply a basic competence that was refined over unimaginable eons by natural selection. Instead, it is an emergent capacity that was acquired quite recently and changed the world definitively"-- Provided by publisher.


New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Physical description

xxii, 266 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm



Ancient origins -- The rise of the bipedal apes -- Early hominid lifestyles and the interior world -- Australopith variety -- Striding out -- Life on the savanna -- Out of Africa- and back -- The first cosmopolitan hominid -- Ice ages and early Europeans -- Who were the Neanderthals? -- Archaic and modern -- Enigmatic arrival -- The origin of symbolic behavior -- In the beginning was the word.

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references (p. [235]-255) and index.


Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    AOS /TAT
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 9780230108752
  • 023010875X