The rise of the multi-billion dollar ancestry testing industry points to one immutable truth about us as human beings: we want to know where we come from and who our ancestors were. John H. Relethford and Deborah A. Bolnick explore this topic and many more in this second edition of Reflections of Our Past.

Where did modern humans come from and how important are the biological differences among us? Are we descended from Neandertals? How should we understand the connections between genetic ancestry, race, and identity? Were Native Americans the first to inhabit the Americas? Can we see evidence of the Viking invasions of Ireland a millennium ago even in the Irish of today? Through engaging examination of issues such as these, and using non-technical language, Reflections of Our Past shows how anthropologists use genetic information to suggest answers to fundamental questions about human history. By looking at genetic variation in the world today and in the past, we can reconstruct the recent and remote events and processes that have created the variation we see, providing a fascinating reflection of our genetic past.

chapter 1|13 pages

The history in Our Genes

chapter 2|26 pages

The Naked Ape

chapter 3|31 pages

Out of Africa: Our Genetic Legacy

chapter 5|24 pages

The First Inhabitants of the Americas

chapter 7|18 pages

Voyagers of the Pacific

chapter 8|20 pages

Three Tales from Ireland

chapter 9|29 pages

Admixture and History

chapter 10|20 pages

Ancestry, Identity, and Race