Book: Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Viking (August 16, 2016)
An irresistible journey of discovery, science, history, and myth making, told through the lives and afterlives of seven famous human ancestors... (Look inside)
Related: Neanderthals were stereotyped as savages for a century — all because of one French scientist - Vox
When anthropologists discover a new set of hominid fossils, the first questions are obvious: What is this creature? Where does it fit in on the evolutionary tree?
But it has to be hard not to look into the hollow eye sockets and also wonder: Were you more like me — or more like an animal?
"The desire to create a story, or to narrate and create characters, I think is really powerful" for anyone doing archaeological research, Lydia Pyne, a historian, anthropologist, and author, tells me.
Among the most famous characters is a Neanderthal called "the Old Man of La Chapelle," which Pyne explores in one chapter of her latest book, Seven Skeletons...
Actualización: Book Talk: Meet 7 Celebrity Fossils and Find Out What Made Them Famous
What makes a fossil—like Lucy, say, or the Hobbit—a celebrity?
This is the question that writer, historian, and avid rock climber Lydia Pyne excavates in her new book, Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World’s Most Famous Human Fossils. The answer, she insists, is not just important for scientists. It also teaches us important lessons about our own origins as a species.
When National Geographic caught up with Pyne at her home in Austin, Texas, she explained how the creator of Sherlock Holmes was implicated in an archaeological hoax in Britain; how a Beatles song inspired the name of the world’s most famous fossil; and why an exciting discovery story is a key component of the celebrity fossil...