Michel Brunet

From Abel to Toumaï Nomad and Bone-Seeker Publication date : June 15, 2006

Where do we come from? Scientists have only dared to ask this question since the mid-nineteenth century. But since then, our knowledge of the slow development that led to modern Man has progressed rapidly.

In this book, Michel Brunet, the discoverer of Toumaï, recounts his career and describes the nature of his fieldwork, primarily undertaken in the desert. His lively account makes us relive the most exciting moments of his life and of the spectacular find that would shake paleoanthropology.

Besides being our earliest ancestor, Toumaï has also provided extensive knowledge about Man, his way of life and his environment. The discovery of Toumaï has had additional implications: calling into question the major theories about the origins of Man.

Brunet not only brings to life the discovery of Toumaï, he also gives his view of the major challenges facing paleoanthropology today. He indicates how much remains to be done before we can understand and locate in time and space the transition between primates and humans.

In this fascinating work, the author intertwines lively narrative with highly accessible scientific explanations and gives us his view of the evolutionary process and the history of humanity.

Michel Brunet is the director of the Laboratory of Geobiology, Biochronology and Human Paleoanthropology at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and at the University of Poitiers. He is the director of the Mission Paléanthropologique Franco-Tchadian, which leads an international research programme on early hominid origins and environment. The Mission is famed for the discovery, in northern Chad, of fossil remains of a new hominid, the Toumaï, the earliest known representative of the human lineage.