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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $115.00
  • February 2014
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92143-4
  • 576 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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  1. Anthropology

Our Origins

Discovering Physical Anthropology

Third Edition


with Ebook and SmartWork registration card

Clark Spencer Larsen (Author, The Ohio State University)


Gives students the tools they need to see the Big Picture.

The Third Edition of this best-selling text now includes an update to the evolutionary primate taxonomy and even more tools to help students grasp the major concepts in physical anthropology—including new, photorealistic art.


Engages students in print and online

Our Origins’ unmatched visual and pedagogical approach has evolved within the text and now includes easy to use on-line media and assessment tools. Text and online visuals are designed to teach the big concepts—two-page spreads in the text engage students with realistic scenes, and animations and videos online engage students with moving images. Increased photorealism in the book and online activities help students better visualize and experience the discipline.  

Norton SmartWork helps engage and assess students outside of the classroom

SmartWork is a highly visual, easy-to-use learning platform that includes pre-made assignments; questions that use that images, videos, and animations; and a complete gradebook that can export to any Learning Management System. With SmartWork, students get a powerful tool to master key topics, and instructors get a window into student performance. 

Animated, streaming, and visual supplements

New animations, over 50 streaming videos and new visuals for the Third Edition help students experience the discipline. Norton Coursepacks make it easy to integrate this high-quality media into an online, hybrid, or lecture course, for a meaningful in-class or online experience.  

Modern content that’s evolved with the discipline

Our Origins now covers the most current evolutionary primate taxonomy with instructor PowerPoints and tools in the Instructor’s Manual supporting this shift. New coverage of topics such as epigenetics, obesity, and the evolution of modern Homo sapiens has been added to the Third Edition, and a new “Evolution Matters” feature is now a part of the end-of-chapter review material. These features include accompanying questions (with answers in the Instructor’s Manual) that help instructors gauge student understanding of evolution. And, the PowerPoint Update service (which provides twice yearly updates) makes it possible for instructors to keep up with and teach exciting advancements in the field.  

    Part I – The Present the Foundation for the Past

    Chapter 1 - What Is Physical Anthropology?
    Chapter 2 – Evolution: Constructing a Fundamental Scientific Theory
    Chapter 3 – Genetics: Reproducing Life and Producing Variation
    Chapter 4 – Genes and Their Evolution: Population Genetics
    Chapter 5 – Biology in the Present: Living People
    Chapter 6 -- Biology in the Present: The Other Living Primates
    Chapter 7 – Primate Sociality, Social Behavior, and Culture

    Part II – The Past: Evidence for the Present

    Chapter 8 – Fossils and Their Place and Time in Nature
    Chapter 9 – Primate Origins and Evolution: The First 50 Million Years
    Chapter 10 – Early Hominin Origins and Evolution: The Roots of Humanity
    Chapter 11 – The Origins and Evolution of Early Homo
    Chapter 12 – The Origins, Evolution, and Dispersal of Modern People
    Chapter 13 – Our Last 10,000 Years: Agriculture, Population, and the Bioarcheology of a Fundamental Transition

    Part III – The Future: The Shape of Things to Come

    Chapter 14 – Evolution: Today and Tomorrow