'An astonishing tale of art and science that goes right to the root of what it means to be human'
'The scope and detail here is sweeping, carrying the reader through tens of thousands of years. By grace of Pettitt’s long experience in the field and thorough immersion in the world of the Palaeolithic, there are a few stunning moments where even the most astonishing archaeology seems tangible'
'An excellent book, written with Paul's signature knowledge and enthusiasm. It should be required reading for everyone interested in our origins'
'Drawing on his many years of experience with Palaeolithic archaeology, Paul Pettitt’s expert account of our origins introduces the reader to the methods used to find out about the remote past and the complexities involved in interpretating this data. What comes across is a powerful message: when looking around you in awe of humanity’s cultural and technological achievements, bear in mind that, as the old saying goes, we stand on the shoulders of Ice Age giants'
João Zilhão, ICREA Research Professor, University of Barcelona
'Powerful … a vivid view of where we have come from and what makes us who we are'
'Pettitt successfully maintain[s] a convivial ‘over a cup of coffee’ tone that weights into genetics then swiftly yanks thing back to a depth a wider audience will find absorbing. … Much has changed, but as Pettitt shows, many things remain constant – we owe our distant ancestors a debt of gratitude or the hard yards they put in'
'Grand narratives about the human past are tricky to pull off. Pettitt presents the complex and fascinating story of how our species came to be, in a readable series of personal stories combined with detailed explanations and illustrations of the archaeological and human fossil record'