Chosen by Charles Higham, a Research Professor in the University of Otago, New Zealand, and an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He has been digging in Southeast Asia for the past 40 years.

For anyone interested in the broad brush of human prehistory, then it is now essential to become acquainted with archaeogenetics. For well over a century, archaeologists have gone out to remote corners of the world, often having to cope with heat and dust, cold and damp, to trace our origins and, in due course, world domination as a species. But with the identification of the double helix, we now have a new and, in the words of one specialist, bullet proof forensic means of enquiry. Stephen Oppenheimer is not one to shy away from bold and challenging interpretations, ones that necessarily weave a pattern incorporating archaeology and genetics. Put aside heavily detailed minutiae and revel in the grand picture over Christmas.

Read on a plane, I traversed the world literally and metaphorically at breakneck speed.


This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 32. Click here to subscribe

Leave a Reply