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Shaping Humanity: How Science, Art, and Imagination Help Us Understand Our Origins

4.5  ·  Rating Details ·  24 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
What did earlier humans really look like? What was life like for them, millions of years ago? How do we know? In this book, internationally renowned paleoartist John Gurche describes the extraordinary process by which he creates forensically accurate and hauntingly realistic representations of our ancient human ancestors. Inspired by a lifelong fascination with all things ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 26th 2013 by Yale University Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Regina
Mar 24, 2014 Regina rated it it was amazing
I won this book and was not sure what to expect. It turned out to be a very interesting and informative book. The pictures are excellent and help to explain the process used to recreate the "shaping of humanity". I am quite surprised as to the work, detail, knowledge and devotion needed to accomplish these feats. I recommend this book to anyone who is even remotely curious about humanity!
Lisa
Jun 06, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, first-reads
I thoroughly loved this book. Such a talented sculptor, anatomist, author, and human being. I received this book through the Good Reads Firstreads program, and could not be happier about it.
Maxine
Mar 07, 2014 Maxine rated it it was amazing
I have always been fascinated by the evolution of man. I read anything I come across about Lucy, the tiny Australopithecus afarensis woman, thought to be about 3 million years old. Of course, she is just one, although probably the best known, of the many discoveries of early hominids both before and since her discovery back in the 1970s, some even older than Lucy. But most of these discoveries have consisted of a few bones, maybe some teeth. A complete skeleton has been a rarity so how do we ...more
Gary Dargan
Jun 22, 2016 Gary Dargan rated it it was amazing
I have put it aside for the moment while I catch up with other work.

I am still working through it. John Gurche is a palaeoartist and describes the techniques he used to create anatomically correct reconstructions of fossil hominids in the Hall of Human Origins in the Smithsonian. Each chapter covers a different species. The prologue includes a vignette "humanising" the remains of a long deceased human and his kin and establishes our connection with this individual and his now extinct kin from ou
...more
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