In Search of our Ancient Ancestors

From the Big Bang to Modern Britain, in Science and Myth

Anthony Adolph

How is the Royal Family descended from fish? How distantly are we related to dinosaurs? How much of your DNA came from Neanderthals? From single-celled organisms to sea-dwelling vertebrates; amphibians to reptiles; tiny mammals to primitive man; the first Homo sapiens to the cave painters of Ice Age Europe and the first farmers down to the Norman C
Date Published :
October 2015
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
illustrated
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781473849211
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.21 X 6.14 inches
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+
In stock
$39.95

Overview
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What a fine long pedigree you have given the human race. – Charles Darwin to Charles Lyell, 1863.

How is the Royal Family descended from fish? How distantly are we related to dinosaurs? How much of your DNA came from Neanderthals? How are the builders of Stonehenge connected to great-grandpa?

According to science, life first appeared on Earth about 3,500 million years ago. Every living thing is descended from that first spark, including all of us. But if we trace a direct line down from those original life forms to ourselves, what do we find? What is the full story of our family tree over the past 3,500 million years, and how are we able to trace ourselves so far back?

From single-celled organisms to sea-dwelling vertebrates; amphibians to reptiles; tiny mammals to primitive man; the first Homo sapiens to the cave painters of Ice Age Europe and the first farmers down to the Norman Conquest, this book charts not only the extraordinary story of our ancient ancestors but also our 40,000-year-long quest to discover our roots, from ancient origin myths of world-shaping mammoths and great floods down to the scientific discovery of our descent from the Genetic Adam and the Mitochondrial Eve.

This is the amazing story of our ancient ancestors, as told by one of Britain’s leading genealogists.

REVIEWS
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"...this book charts not only the extraordinary story of our ancient ancestors, but also our 40000 year old long quest to discover our roots, from ancient origin myths of world shaping mammoths and great floods down to the scientific discovery of our descent from Genetic Adam and the mitochondrial Eve. This is the amazing story of our Ancient ancestors, as told by one of Britain's leading genealogists."

- The Highlander, November/ December 2015

"...the result of a decade's genealogical investigation into what both mythology and, separately, science can really tell us about our ancestry...traces our story from the origins of life right down to our evolution into humans, and how the ancestors of the British survived the Ice Age in Europe and in doing so, ignited the sparks of curiosity which led to our own perennial fascination with who we are and where we come from. The book includes an explanation of how genetics helps and how it roots each of us in this magnificent story of Life on Earth in the most meaningful way imaginable.

- Reunite Magazine

"all emcompassing...uplifting"

- Family Tree

"Unusual and fascinating"

- Your Family Tree

"It is a clear desire and evidence of our enquiring minds that human beings need to understand our origins - who we are and where we come from. Without doubt, this desire is string in genealogists, explaining our efforts to provide the evidence we need to map out our ancestry from written records. This book takes the enquiring mind much further back - from ancient times and the theories of Hesiod outlining the continuous thread of the human family tree at the beginning of the world, through to the new scientific discovery of genetic testing and DNA through which our male-line Y chromosome can be identified. The journey from Adan and Eve, to Neanderthals and the 'thinking man', i.e. Homo Sapiens, is laid out for the reader.... Given the complex nature of the subject matter in this book, particularly with reference to the author's enlightening family tree for Her Majesty The Queen, using a combination of male genetic signatures and genealogical data, going back to Homo Erectus, the narrative is easy to follow and largely compelling in its arguments..." 

- Barbara Jarvis, Genealogists’ Magazine, June 2016

"Adolph has set out on the grandest of missions: to explain to the layman how the universe came into being, how life and eventually humans evolved and how they began to shape their world into one in which succession and descendency mattered.... in an engaging and clever manner". Of the part concerning creation myths he wrote "An examination of the creation myths around the world, attempting to put them into a unified perspective and putting them against the background of evolution and descendency. This was, for me, the most fascinating part of the whole book, and the one which taught me most. I will take away with me pieces of this research as life knowledge"... "Overall, the book was a thoroughly engaging and interesting read, clearly not entirely suitable to everyone. A science duffer like me had to frown and count the floor tiles throughout the genetic investigations. A true believing follower of any religion will have some trouble with the pragmatism. But I think everyone will find something of interest within and I can guarantee that everyone will learn something"

- Simon Turney, www.unrv.com

pushes our genealogical connections further back into the remote biological past. Starting with the origins of life and the remotest phylogenetic tree of life 011 Earth. Adolph settles into an extended study which skillfully summarizes the last two decades of genetic research on our "deep ancestry :· using both mitochondrial and Y -chromosome DNA to trace the human family over the last few hundred thousand years. with special attention to questions like the interaction of the Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, and Denisovan populations as we spread from Africa throughout the world.

- American Geneologist

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