Bones, Stones and Molecules

"Out of Africa" and Human Origins


  • David Cameron, The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Colin Groves, The Australian National University, Canberra

Bones, Stones and Molecules provides some of the best evidence for resolving the debate between the two hypotheses of human origins. The debate between the 'Out of Africa' model and the 'Multiregional' hypothesis is examined through the functional and developmental processes associated with the evolution of the human skull and face and focuses on the significance of the Australian record. The book analyzes important new discoveries that have occurred recently and examines evidence that is not available elsewhere. Cameron and Groves argue that the existing evidence supports a recent origin for modern humans from Africa. They also specifically relate these two theories to interpretations of the origins of the first Australians. The book provides an up-to-date interpretation of the fossil, archaeological and the molecular evidence, specifically as it relates to Asia, and Australia in particular.
View full description


Researchers, students, and the general layperson interested in evolution, primatology, or physical anthropology.


Book information

  • Published: May 2004
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-156933-4


"I was keenly anticipating this book, for I have the highest opinion of the work of both Cameron and Groves. I was not disappointed, for it is a thoroughly researched and entertaining book....Its strength lies in the wonderful clarity in which the principles of phylogenetic analysis are laid out and then applied rigorously to the hominid fossil record. Although many will disagree with the conclusions, they will be able to do so more readily because the analyses are so clearly set out, both the characters used and the methods." -Peter Andrews, Natural History Museum, London, England “This is a detailed treatment which is sure to stimulate consideable debate and argument.” -David Pilbeam, Peabody Museum, Harvard University "Although fairly academic in approach, this is still a very readable and well-illustrated overview." - Douglas Palmer, NEW SCIENTIST

Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsPreface1. Introduction2. Evolution of the Miocene Great Apes3. The Later Miocene and Early Pliocene Hominids4. Our Kind of Hominins5. A Systematic Scheme for the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene Hominids6. The First African Exodus: The Emergence of Early Homo in Europe and Asia7. Human Evolution in the Middle Pleistocene8. “The Grisly Folk”: The Emergence of the Neanderthals9. The Second African Exodus: The Emergence of Modern Humans10. The Emergence of Modern Humans in Asia and Australia11. EpilogueAppendix: Detailed Description of Characters (DWC)ReferencesIndex