The Early Modern Human from Tianyuan Cave, China
6 x 9, 272 pp.
42 b&w, 8 color photos. 3 line art. 3 maps. 40 figs. 54 tables.
Pub Date: 06/18/2010
Texas A&M University Anthropology Series
Price:        $45.00 s

title also available as an ebook:
More ebooks

Published by Texas A&M University Press

To Receive E-News


The Early Modern Human from Tianyuan Cave, China

By Hong Shang and Erik Trinkaus

For more than a century, scientists have returned time and again to the issue of modern human emergence-the when and where of the evolutionary process and the human behavioral and biological dynamics involved.

The 2003 discovery of a human partial skeleton at Tianyuandong (Tianyuan Cave) excited worldwide interest. The first human skeleton from the region to be directly radiocarbon-dated (to 40,000 years before present), its geological age places it close to the time period during which modern humans became permanently established across the Old World (between 50,000 and 35,000 years ago).

Through detailed description and interpretation of the most complete early modern human skeleton from eastern Asia, The Early Modern Human from Tianyan Cave, China, addresses long-term questions about the ancestry of modern humans in eastern Asia and the nature of the changes in human behavior with the emergence of modern human biology.

This book is a detailed, paleontological and paleobiological presentation of this skeleton, its context, and its implications. By providing basic information for this important human fossil, offering inferences concerning the population processes involved in modern human emergence in eastern Eurasia, and by raising questions concerning the adaptations of these early modern human hunter-gatherers, The Early Modern Human from Tianyuan Cave, China will take its place as a core contribution to the study of modern human emergence.

HONG SHANG is an associate professor and associate researcher in the Department of Paleoanthropology, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, where she also received her PhD.
ERIK TRINKAUS, a prominent paleoanthropologist and expert on Neandertal and early modern human biology, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor in Arts & Sciences in the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

What Readers Are Saying:

". . . the authors provide a detailed description of the remains, state of preservation, anatomy, body proportions, and pathologies. . . provides a balanced coverage of both who was Tianyuan (definitely a modern human), but also a little bit of how he or she lived. . . meticulous descriptions and analyses."--Brigitte M. Holt, assistant professor of anthropology, University of Massachusetts

"The human remains found in Tianyuan Cave near Zhoukoudian, Beijing include more than thirty pieces of mandible, teeth, postcranial bones. The direct AMS dating on the human bone gives an age about 40 ka making the Tianyuan Cave among the groups of early modern humans in East Asia. The authors give detailed morphological and metric descriptions for the Tianyuan human remains in this manuscript. In addition, several issues of late Pleistocene human evolution are addressed."--Liu Wu, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing, China

"Not only does this detailed monograph on Tianyuan stand as an excellent example of high-quality description and analysis of important human fossils, it also provides, for the first time, reliably dated evidence on the initial appearance of early modern people on the East Asian mainland. Thus, this work will have a significant impact on our understanding of later human evolution in Asia for many years to come, regardless of individual views on evidence for continuity between early modern and archaic Asians."--Fred Smith, professor of anthropology and Biological Sciences Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Illinois State University

"...a much needed and welcome addition to what is a relatively scanty record...nicely done...superd quality...wide of the first comprehensive metric analyses of a modern human skeleton from eastern Asia that derives from solid context and age...a very nice addition to the literature...will definitely be of interest to any senior researcher or graduate student working on questions related to the evolution of modern human morphology."--Christopher J. Bae, Anthropos

"The high standard of description and analysis can't be faulted, and the conclusions are presented with care and caution."--Don Brothwell, Antiquity


Review Copy Request Form Desk Copy Request Form