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Unlocking The Past

Author: Martin Jones
Publisher: Skyhorse
ISBN: 162872479X
Size: 38.49 MB
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In Unlocking the Past, Martin Jones, a leading expert at the forefront of bioarchaeology—the discipline that gave Michael Crichton the premise for Jurassic Park—explains how this pioneering science is rewriting human history and unlocking stories of the past that could never have been told before. For the first time, the building blocks of ancient life—DNA, proteins, and fats that have long been trapped in fossils and earth and rock—have become widely accessible to science. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and other molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the remains of these ancient biomolecules in human skeletons, sediments and fossilized plants, dinosaur bones, and insects trapped in amber. Their amazing discoveries have influenced the archaeological debate at almost every level and continue to reshape our understanding of the past. Devising a molecular clock from a certain area of DNA, scientists were able to determine that all humans descend from one common female ancestor, dubbed Mitochondrial Eve, who lived around 150,000 years ago. From molecules recovered from grinding stones and potsherds, they reconstructed ancient diets and posited when such practices as dairying and boiling water for cooking began. They have reconstituted the beer left in the burial chamber of pharaohs and know what the Iceman, the 5,000-year-old hunter found in the Alps in the early nineties, ate before his last journey. Conveying both the excitement of innovative research and the sometimes bruising rough-and-tumble of scientific debate, Jones has written a work of profound importance. Unlocking the Past is science at its most engaging.

Unlocking The Past

Author: Martin Jones
Publisher: Arcade Pub
ISBN: 9781628724479
Size: 43.24 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
View: 6342
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In Unlocking the Past, Martin Jones, a leading expert at the forefront of bioarchaeology--the discipline that gave Michael Crichton the premise for Jurassic Park--explains how this pioneering science is rewriting human history and unlocking stories of the past that could never have been told before. For the first time, the building blocks of ancient life--DNA, proteins, and fats that have long been trapped in fossils and earth and rock--have become widely accessible to science. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and other molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the remains of these ancient biomolecules in human skeletons, sediments and fossilized plants, dinosaur bones, and insects trapped in amber. Their amazing discoveries have influenced the archaeological debate at almost every level and continue to reshape our understanding of the past. Devising a molecular clock from a certain area of DNA, scientists were able to determine that all humans descend from one common female ancestor, dubbed "The Mitochondrial Eve," who lived around 150,000 years ago. From molecules recovered through grinding stones and potsherds, they reconstructed ancient diets and posited when such practices as dairying and boiling water for cooking began. They have reconstituted the beer left in the burial chamber of pharaohs and know what the Iceman, the five-thousand-year-old hunter found in the Alps in the early nineties, ate before his last journey. Conveying both the excitement of innovative research and the sometimes bruising rough-and-tumble of scientific debate, Jones has written a work of profound importance. Unlocking the Past is science at its most engaging.

Who We Are And How We Got Here

Author: David Reich
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198821255
Size: 43.48 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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David Reich describes how the revolution in the ability to sequence ancient DNA has changed our understanding of the deep human past. This book tells the emerging story of our often surprising ancestry - the extraordinary ancient migrations and mixtures of populations that have made us who we are.

Why We Make Mistakes

Author: Joseph T. Hallinan
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780767931472
Size: 34.22 MB
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We forget our passwords. We pay too much to go to the gym. We think we’d be happier if we lived in California (we wouldn’t), and we think we should stick with our first answer on tests (we shouldn’t). Why do we make mistakes? And could we do a little better? We human beings have design flaws. Our eyes play tricks on us, our stories change in the retelling, and most of us are fairly sure we’re way above average. In Why We Make Mistakes, journalist Joseph T. Hallinan sets out to explore the captivating science of human error—how we think, see, remember, and forget, and how this sets us up for wholly irresistible mistakes. In his quest to understand our imperfections, Hallinan delves into psychology, neuroscience, and economics, with forays into aviation, consumer behavior, geography, football, stock picking, and more. He discovers that some of the same qualities that make us efficient also make us error prone. We learn to move rapidly through the world, quickly recognizing patterns—but overlooking details. Which is why thirteen-year-old boys discover errors that NASA scientists miss—and why you can’t find the beer in your refrigerator. Why We Make Mistakes is enlivened by real-life stories—of weathermen whose predictions are uncannily accurate and a witness who sent an innocent man to jail—and offers valuable advice, such as how to remember where you’ve hidden something important. You’ll learn why multitasking is a bad idea, why men make errors women don’t, and why most people think San Diego is west of Reno (it’s not). Why We Make Mistakes will open your eyes to the reasons behind your mistakes—and have you vowing to do better the next time.

Feast

Author: Martin Jones
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191623008
Size: 12.57 MB
Format: PDF
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Is sharing food such an everyday, unremarkable occurrence? In fact, the human tendency to sit together peacefully over food is actually rather an extraordinary phenomenon, and one which many species find impossible. It is also a pheonomenon with far-reaching consequences for the global environment and human social evolution. So how did this strange and powerful behaviour come about? In Feast, Martin Jones uses the latest archaeological methods to illuminate how humans came to share food in the first place and how the human meal has developed since then. From the earliest evidence of human consumption around half a million years ago to the era of the TV dinner and the drive-through diner, this fascinating account unfolds the history of the human meal and its huge impact both on human society and the ecology of the planet.

Of Odysseys And Oddities

Author: Barry Molloy
Publisher: Oxbow Books
ISBN: 1785702343
Size: 80.77 MB
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Of Odysses and Oddities is about scales and modes of interaction in prehistory, specifically between societies on both sides of the Aegean and with their nearest neighbours overland to the north and east. The 17 contributions reflect on tensions at the core of how we consider interaction in archaeology, particularly the motivations and mechanisms leading to social and material encounters or displacements. Linked to this are the ways we conceptualise spatial and social entities in past societies (scales) and how we learn about who was actively engaged in interaction and how and why they were (modes). The papers provide a broad chronological, spatial and material range but, taken together, they critically address many of the ways that scales and modes of interaction are considered in archaeological discourse. Ultimately, the intention is to foreground material culture analysis in the development of the arguments presented within this volume, informed, but not driven, by theoretical positions.

An Introduction To Political Geography

Author: Martin Jones
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415250764
Size: 44.35 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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An Introduction to Political Geography provides a broad-based introduction to how power interacts with space; how place influences political identities; and how policy creates and remoulds territory. By pushing back the boundaries of what we conventionally understand as political geography, the book emphasizes the interactions between power, politics and policy, space, place and territory in different geographical contexts. This is both an essential text for political geographers and also a valuable resource for students of related fields with an interest in politics and geography.

Modern Humans

Author: John F. Hoffecker
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231543743
Size: 70.21 MB
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Modern Humans is a vivid account of the most recent—and perhaps the most important—phase of human evolution: the appearance of anatomically modern people (Homo sapiens) in Africa less than half a million years ago and their later spread throughout the world. Leaving no stone unturned, John F. Hoffecker demonstrates that Homo sapiens represents a “major transition” in the evolution of living systems in terms of fundamental changes in the role of non-genetic information. Modern Humans synthesizes recent findings from genetics (including the rapidly growing body of ancient DNA), the human fossil record, and archaeology relating to the African origin and global dispersal of anatomically modern people. Hoffecker places humans in the broad context of the evolution of life, emphasizing the critical role of genetic and non-genetic forms of information in living systems as well as how changes in the storage, transmission, and translation of information underlie major transitions in evolution. He also draws on information and complexity theory to explain the emergence of Homo sapiens in Africa several hundred thousand years ago and the rapid and unprecedented spread of our species into a variety of environments in Australia and Eurasia, including the Arctic and Beringia, beginning between 75,000 and 60,000 years ago. This magisterial work will appeal to all with an interest in the ever-fascinating field of human evolution.

The Prism And The Pendulum

Author: Robert Crease
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780307432537
Size: 16.94 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Is science beautiful? Yes, argues acclaimed philosopher and historian of science Robert P. Crease in this engaging exploration of history’s most beautiful experiments. The result is an engrossing journey through nearly 2,500 years of scientific innovation. Along the way, we encounter glimpses into the personalities and creative thinking of some of the field’s most interesting figures. We see the first measurement of the earth’s circumference, accomplished in the third century B.C. by Eratosthenes using sticks, shadows, and simple geometry. We visit Foucault’s mesmerizing pendulum, a cannonball suspended from the dome of the Panthéon in Paris that allows us to see the rotation of the earth on its axis. We meet Galileo—the only scientist with two experiments in the top ten—brilliantly drawing on his musical training to measure the speed of falling bodies. And we travel to the quantum world, in the most beautiful experiment of all. We also learn why these ten experiments exert such a powerful hold on our imaginations. From the ancient world to cutting-edge physics, these ten exhilarating moments reveal something fundamental about the world, pulling us out of confusion and revealing nature’s elegance. The Prism and the Pendulum brings us face-to-face with the wonder of science. From the Hardcover edition.

Medieval Bodies

Author: Jack Hartnell
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 178283270X
Size: 31.35 MB
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Dripping with blood and gold, fetishized and tortured, gateway to earthly delights and point of contact with the divine, forcibly divided and powerful even beyond death, there was no territory more contested than the body in the medieval world. In Medieval Bodies, art historian Jack Hartnell uncovers the complex and fascinating ways in which the people of the Middle Ages thought about, explored and experienced their physical selves. In paintings and reliquaries that celebrated the - sometimes bizarre - martyrdoms of saints, the sacred dimension of the physical left its mark on their environment. In literature and politics, hearts and heads became powerful metaphors that shaped governance and society in ways that are still visible today. And doctors and natural philosophers were at the centre of a collision between centuries of sophisticated medical knowledge, and an ignorance of physiology as profound as its results were gruesome. Like a medieval pageant, this striking and unusual history brings together medicine, art, poetry, music, politics, cultural and social history and philosophy to reveal what life was really like for the men and women who lived and died in the Middle Ages. Medieval Bodies is published in association with Wellcome Collection.