How To Use This Book
- The Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory is alphabetically arranged, with over 1,200 topic headings. About half of these are cross-references to articles that deal with the subject concerned and are provided to serve as an index. Referring to the entry for Propliopithecus, for instance, will yield cross-references to Fayum and Propliopithecidae, the entries in which this early catarrhine primate is discussed; looking up Punctuated Equilibrium produces a cross-reference to Evolution. To help readers locate topic headings relevant to a given area the "Subject List by Topic" cites headings by general subject, each following a major category heading. These major headings (e.g. Evolutionary Biology or Human Fossils) are listed alphabetically; the order of the topic headings that follow may be either alphabetical or chronological, and in some cases such headings are listed both ways.
- In addition each entry supplies cross-references to other articles in the volume that bear on the subject in question. Despite the unavoidable overlap among articles dealing with related subjects readers should consult all entries thus indicated to be certain of obtaining full information.
- Paleoanthropology is a science in which there is unanimity of opinion on few areas, and we have not tried to impose a common view upon our contributors. There are thus cases in which articles by different contributors put forward different views of the same questions; such cases are not examples of editorial inconsistency but rather reflect the fact that paleoanthropology harbors a legitimate variety of interpretations in virtually every one of its subfields. It is this variety, indeed, that lends the study of human evolution its particular fascination.
- The "Brief Introduction to Human Evolution and Prehistory" provides an alternative way of determining the headings under which information may be sought. This introduction briefly surveys paleoanthropology and related fields, making reference to articles dealing with each topic as it arises. It is not a substitute for reading any of the articles it cites but simply points to and places in context the major entries that comprise the bulk of the volume.
- The "Brief Introduction" does not attempt to refer to every short article; however, at the end of each main article cited in the introduction cross-references are given to other articles, long and short, that bear on the major subject involved. Additionally, all but the shortest entries are accompanied by suggestions for further reading. These reference lists are not exhaustive bibliographies but are pointers to (primarily) recent and easily accessible works to which readers can refer for more information. Each of these works contains a longer bibliography that serves as an entry point into the popular and technical literature on the subject.
- St. James Press, London, hardback, First Edition, 1988
- There is a Second Edition published in January 2000, reviewed as "a thoroughly updated edition of a distinguished reference book".
- If I get round to reading this book, it might be best to use the (then) latest edition.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)