CARTA: Before Lucy: The State of Knowledge on Human Origins with Donald Johanson

7/2/2024; 12 minutes

Since entering into the field of paleoanthropology in 1970, Donald Johanson has found a more focused and rigorous implementation of an expanded collaborative, multinational, transdisciplinary strategy of inquiry with the application of new theoretical and technical innovations that has resulted in a richer picture of our origins and a deeper understanding of how we became human—not only in Africa, but Eurasia as well. The discovery of Lucy 50 years ago provides an appropriate benchmark by which to contrast what we know in 2024 versus what we thought we knew prior to her discovery in 1974. Knowledge of the environment in which our ancestors lived and interacted and successfully navigated the challenges of survival is now coming into clearer focus. We are in a period of specialization, and it is imperative to embrace an integrated approach that melds biological and cultural evolution. Only in this way can we continue to provide a more far-reaching vision of our ancestry. Recorded on 04/06/2024. (#39815)

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