I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what an extraordinary time we are living in for paleoanthropological discovery. The saga of human origins has undergone substantial revision since the start of the new millennium—and it is more fascinating than ever. In my introduction to the September issue of Scientific American, which is devoted to the story of us, I reflect on some of the more spectacular revelations to have emerged over the past 15 years. You can read more about those finds at the links below:

Rising Star Expedition

An Ancestor to Call Our Own

First of Our Kind: Could Australopithecus sediba Be Our Long Lost Ancestor?

Stranger in a New Land

The Littlest Human

Rethinking "Hobbits": What They Mean for Human Evolution

When the Sea Saved Humanity

Neanderthals Made Leather-Working Tools Like Those in Use Today

Caveman Couture: Neandertals Rocked Dark Feathers

Did Neandertals Think Like Us?

Neandertal Genome Study Reveals That We Have a Little Caveman in Us

Sex with Neandertals Introduced Helpful and Harmful DNA into the Modern Human Genome

Sex with Other Human Species Might Have Been Secret of Homo sapiens’s Success

New DNA Analysis Shows Ancient Humans Interbred with Denisovans

Tibetans Inherited High-Altitude Gene from Ancient Human