In Growing Up Human, bioarchaeologist Brenna Hassett brings the science of physical anthropology to bear on understanding how our evolutionary history has shaped a phenomenon every reader will have experienced - childhood.
The development of a foetus is an extraordinary biological process by itself, but the story of how we grow up began long before any of us were even born. Paleoanthropological science has revealed that deep in our hominid lineage we began to diverge from other primates by giving birth to fatter, more helpless infants and developed one of humanity's most striking adaptations - the evolution of childhood; a long period of dependence and social learning that makes us the animals we are today.
Beginning with how the differences between humans and our primate cousins lead to our difficult births, it moves through the science of how our unlikely babies have spurred social and cultural adaptations, right up to things like the invention of 'teenagers' less than a century ago. We learn how anthropologists can interpret the physical evidence of the experience of childhood, including the very real risks that children faced in the past, and what archaeological remains tell us about how our societies have treated children over the ages.
This is the first book to cover both the evolution of human children as biological phenomena and the cultural impact visible in the archaeological record for a popular readership. It explains why you should expect what you expect when you're expecting by examining every aspect of human development, from the evolution of our large-headed, helpless, high-fat babies right through to the social importance of childhood and adolescence, how this has changed over the millennia, and how we can interpret the story of childhood through the ages using teeth, skulls and bones.
|Formát||216 x 135 mm|
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