This text, the only one of its kind on the market, surveys the development of the field of human evolution from its inception through today. It provides students with a broad contrast enabling them to fully understand the value and role of current paleoanthropological research.


  • An historical approach - Establishes for students the nature of paleoanthropology through the historical development of the field from 1860 through 2000 and shows students that paleoanthropology is a remarkably progressive field..
  • A focus on the debates in the field of human evolution (especially the phylogenetic or genealogical debates)–
  • Analyzes four distinct debates, presented separately from their inception to the present: 1) Humankind's place among the primates; 2) The place of the australopithecines relative to the human line; 3) Debates on human phylogeny proper; 4) Proposed scenarios of hominization.
  • Presentation and analysis of the viewpoints of over 150 scholars - Gives students a valuable reference work for the future (includes over 1200 references in the bibliography) as well as a comprehensive text for today.

For junior/senior courses in Human Evolution and Paleoanthropology in Anthropology departments.

chapter |24 pages


chapter 1|8 pages

The History of Paleoanthropology

part |4 pages

Part I A Synthesis of Approaches to Human Evolution, 1860–1890

chapter 2|23 pages

Comparative Anatomy

chapter 3|17 pages

The Human Fossil Record

part |2 pages

Part II Competing Approaches to Human Evolution, 1890–1935

chapter 4|32 pages

Primate Phylogeny

chapter 5|34 pages

Human Phylogeny

part |2 pages

Part III Toward the Modern Research Structure in Paleoanthropology, 1935–2000

chapter 7|40 pages

Primate Phylogeny, 1935–1965

chapter 9|46 pages

Human Phylogeny, 1950–1965

chapter 10|53 pages

Primate and Human Phylogeny, 1965–2000

chapter 11|8 pages

The Nature of Paleoanthropology