Early Humans: Ice, Stone, and Survival By Suzanne Pilaar Birch, The Great Courses

  • Narrated by: Suzanne Pilaar Birch
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Release date: 04-21-23

Early Humans: Ice, Stone, and Survival By Suzanne Pilaar Birch, The Great Courses AudioBook summary

You and the other 8 billion humans alive today are members of the only species that has survived in the genus Homo since its 2.5-million-year evolutionary journey began. Homo habilis, H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis—plus many other species we know of and perhaps dozens yet to be discovered—have all come and gone. H. sapiens alone has endured.

Who were these long-ago ancestors of ours? Where and how did they live and die? And how are we even able to learn about these humans, some of whom became extinct millions of years ago? These are only a few of the myriad fascinating questions explored in Early Humans: Ice, Stone, and Survival. In 20 captivating lectures, Professor Suzanne Pilaar Birch shares her expertise and passion for discovery as she peels back the years to expose the emergence and lives of early humans. You will learn about their environmental challenges, the methods they used to meet their basic needs, cultural development, and the fascinating advances in our own technologies that have allowed us to take their few physical remains and develop a much fuller picture.

Although we might imagine a timeline of the past 2.5 million years as a straight path from the emergence of the genus Homo to modern H. sapiens in the 21st century, the truth of our family tree is much more convoluted and fascinating than that. Who were our direct ancestors? How far back can we trace our lineage? As Dr. Birch explains, we shouldn’t lose sight of what it means to be able to ask those questions in the first place. After all, isn’t it our awareness of the existence of those who came before us what truly makes us human? The answers to these questions and many more will surprise and possibly even shock you as you as you explore Early Humans: Ice, Stone, and Survival.



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