Professor Michael Petraglia has always been drawn to the distant past. Growing up, he pored over copies of National Geographic and books about Ancient Egypt that his family – particularly his older sister – would gift him every Christmas. So it seems only natural that he would pursue a career in archaeology that’s taken him around the world, from teaching at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the UK to directing field projects in Africa and Asia that have reframed our understanding of ancient human migration. Professor Petraglia, now the Director of Griffith University’s Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution (ARCHE), and he talked to Griffith Review Editor Carody Culver about the origin story of our species – which, like humanity itself, is constantly evolving. This is an excerpt.