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Out of Eden: The Peopling of the World

Stephen Oppenheimer

4 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography

Revelatory story of how all modern non-Africans sprang from a single exodus out of Africa just 85,000 years ago

In a brilliant synthesis of genetic, archaeological, linguistic and climatic data, Oppenheimer challenges current thinking with his claim that there was only one successful migration out of Africa. In 1988 Newsweek headlined the startling discovery that everyone alive on the earth today can trace their maternal DNA back to one woman who lived in Africa 150,000 years ago. It was thought that modern humans populated the world through a series of migratory waves from their African homeland.

Now an even more radical view has emerged, that the members of just one group are the ancestors of all non-Africans now alive, and that this group crossed the mouth of the Red Sea a mere 85,000 years ago. It means that not only is every person on the planet descended from one African 'Eve' but every non-African is related to a more recent Eve, from that original migratory group.

This is a revolutionary new theory about our origins that is both scholarly and entertaining, a remarkable account of the kinship of all humans.

Further details of the findings in this book are presented at

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Praise for Out of Eden: The Peopling of the World

  • A vivid synthesis of DNA studies with archaeological, climatic, anthropological and other findings . . . The thrill of this book lies in the vast reaches of time and space that one is deftly guided through. - Emma Crichton-Miller, Sunday Telegraph

  • I can put my finger on a map and say that is where my people came from. - The Economist

  • Oppenheimer strongly argues for a single movement out of Africa. He tells his story with pace and authority, combining the personal and the scientific. - Times Literary Supplement

  • A wonderfully readable guide for the perplexed on what modern molecular genetics may be telling us about our species' ancient origins in Africa and our many human wanderings over the earth thereafter - John Terrell, Director of Anthropology, The Field Museum, Chicago

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Stephen Oppenheimer

Stephen Oppenheimer, author of Eden in the East, qualified in medicine from Oxford to begin a career in tropical paediatrics. He has spent 20 years working and travelling in the Far East and Pacific region and is a world-recognised expert in the synthesis of DNA studies with archaeological and other evidence to track ancient migrations. His first book Eden in the East: The Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia challenged the orthodox view of the origins of Polynesians as rice farmers from Taiwan.

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