The Roots of Progress

Before the Dawn

Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors

Nicholas Wade

Covers what is known about the earliest hominins, from the first stone tools used by the ancestors of our species millions of years ago; to the first glimmers of more abstract conceptual thought tens of thousands of years ago, as evidenced by art and religion; to the beginnings of settled societies and agriculture. The book relies on relatively recent developments in DNA sequencing to piece together this prehistoric timeline.

I found this book well-written overall and I’d recommend it if the topic sounds interesting. (Unfortunately, the author’s other books seem problematic, including one that tries to argue for an evolutionary basis for faith, and I don’t think I’ll read more from him.)

Mentioned in: The beginning

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