Book Review: Shaping Humanity

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Shaping Humanity Book Cover

Yale University Press

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Shaping Humanity: How Science, Art, and Imagination Help Us Understand Our Origins
by John Gurche
Yale University Press, 2013

How can we paint a picture of someone who lived and died six million years ago, informed by little more than crude artifacts and rare, incomplete skeletal remains? Modeling the dawn of humans through our ancestors' appearances and behaviors is much more than simple guesswork. Shaping Humanity reveals the secrets of how artist Gurche reconstructs our early primate ancestors from mere bone fragments. Using gorgeous illustrations and photographs, he describes exactly how he draws from studies of modern-day musculature and even his own facial features to turn crumbling skeletons into the evocative sculptures and images that have appeared in museums, magazines, journals and textbooks worldwide.

This article was originally published with the title "Shaping Humanity."

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