I found this book on the exchange shelf in the last backpackers hostel on our New Zealand trip. This was quite surprising because most of the books that reside on the exchange shelves are of the read-once-in-3-hours-and-ditch kind - modern "thrillers" designed to keep you glued to the chair and with very little meaning in the plot. But I digress... "The emergence of man" is a fairly thorough tome about archaeology, animal (especially primate) research. research of human infants and insights into the development of language. The central idea is to investigate what made modern man (Homo Sapiens) the creature it is, by looking back in the smallest steps possible, linking us to our ancestors. The author takes a very practical approach at the investigation. He asks the right questions, IMHO, such as "To what role and environment is man adapted by natural selection ?" and using the answer (most probably - a hunter-gatherer in warm African savannas) to cogitate about our instincts, tendencies and behavior in modern times. Although it focuses a bit too much on archaeology (the author is an archaeologist, I think), this book is an interesting read overall.

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