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The Sociologist's EyeReflections on Social Life$
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Kai Erikson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106671

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106671.001.0001

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Human Origins

Human Origins

(p.65) Human Origins
The Sociologist's Eye

Kai Erikson

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the origins of the human species on earth, in part to emphasize the fact that we are social animals. The story of human evolution spans millions of years, although it is not easy to establish a starting date or to draw an easy narrative line across those immense stretches of time. The evidence available to us is a spare collection of fossil remains dug out of the ground in widely scattered parts of the world, and a good deal of significance can be given each skull fragment or bone splinter or tooth. The chapter considers the appearance of the early hominins, the australopithecines and how they became social. It also looks at the first humans as well as modern humans, noting how they made the transition from foraging to agriculture.

Keywords:   human evolution, fossil remains, hominins, australopithecines, first humans, modern humans, foraging, agriculture

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