MAPPING the HUMAN STORY
Humanity’s greatest treasures.
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The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey is a book by Spencer Wells, an American geneticist and anthropologist, in which he uses techniques and theories of genetics and evolutionary biology to trace the geographical dispersal of early human migrations out of Africa. The book was made into a TV documentary in 2003.
This informative film, full of surprising news, is based on the work of Spencer Wells, who is both innovative scientist and enthusiastic host. He and crew scour the world for indigenous people with deep roots in one place, asking for samples of DNA to test, in order to piece together our “big family” genetic tree.
It is a fantastic documentary tracing the earliest human migration on this planet, as shown by our genetic roots. In Indiana Jones mode, Wells tacks down common ancestors and comes up with some surprising candidates which he interviews.
The best parts are when he returns with DNA results and we see the diverse ways in which people and tribes react to the news of what science says about their arrival and relations. View this as adventure travel or as a painless way to begin your genetic literacy.
The Incredible Human Journey is a five-episode science documentary and accompanying book, written and presented by Alice Roberts. It was first broadcast on BBC television in May and June 2009 in the UK. Dr Alice Roberts travels the globe to discover the incredible story of how humans left Africa to colonize the world.
How did we get here? Following a trail of clues from the latest scientific research, Dr Alice Roberts re-traces the greatest ever journey taken by our ancestors.
Thousands of years ago one small group of our species, Homo sapiens, crossed out of Africa and into the unknown. Their descendants faced baking deserts, sweat-soaked jungles and frozen wildernesses and risked everything on the vast empty ocean.
Within 60,000 years they colonized the whole world… How did they do it? Why do we, their descendants all look so different? And what did we have that meant we were the only human species to survive?
Using the evidence from genetics, fossils, archaeology and climatology, Dr Alice Roberts uncovers five epic routes our ancestors took across the globe and the obstacles and brutal challenges they encountered along the way.
It reveals how our family tree grew and spread out across the world, producing all the variety we see in the human species today – but despite all that diversity, Alice reveals how astonishingly closely related we all are.
Interactive map: Journey of Mankind: The Peopling of the World