After the Ice

Author: Steven Mithen
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674019997
Release Date: 2006
Genre: History

Brings to life fifteen thousand years of human history in a study that follows an imaginary modern traveler who visits and observes prehistoric communities and landscapes that laid the foundations of the modern world.

After the Ice

Author: Steven Mithen
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9781780222592
Release Date: 2011-12-08
Genre: Science

A fantastic voyage through 15,000 years of history that laid the foundations for civilisation as we know it by award-winning science writer Steven Mithen. Twenty thousand years ago Earth was in the midst of an ice age. Then global warming arrived, leading to massive floods, the spread of forests and the retreat of the deserts. By 5,000 BC a radically different human world had appeared. In place of hunters and gatherers there were farmers; in place of transient campsites there were towns. The foundations of our modern world had been laid and nothing that came after - the Industrial Revolution, the atomic age, the internet - have ever matched the significance of those events. AFTER THE ICE tells the story of climate change's impact during this momentous period - one that also saw the colonisation of the Americas and mass extinctions of animals throughout the world. Drawing on the latest cutting-edge research in archaeology, cognitive science, palaeontology, geology and the evolutionary sciences, Steven Mithen creates an evocative, original and remarkably complete picture of minds, cultures, lives and landscapes through 15,000 years of history.

Thirst

Author: Steven Mithen
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674072190
Release Date: 2012-11-26
Genre: Social Science

Freshwater shortages will affect 75% of the world’s population by 2050. Mithen puts this crisis into context by exploring 10,000 years of water management. Thirst tells of civilizations defeated by the water challenge, and of technological ingenuity that sustained communities in hostile environments. Work with nature, not against it, he advises.

After the Ice Age

Author: E. C. Pielou
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226668096
Release Date: 2008-04-15
Genre: Science

The fascinating story of how a harsh terrain that resembled modern Antarctica has been transformed gradually into the forests, grasslands, and wetlands we know today. "One of the best scientific books published in the last ten years."—Ottowa Journal "A valuable new synthesis of facts and ideas about climate, geography, and life during the past 20,000 years. More important, the book conveys an intimate appreciation of the rich variety of nature through time."—S. David Webb,Science

First Migrants

Author: Peter Bellwood
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118325896
Release Date: 2014-01-13
Genre: Social Science

The first publication to outline the complex global story of human migration and dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory. Utilizing archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence, Peter Bellwood traces the journeys of the earliest hunter-gatherer and agriculturalist migrants as critical elements in the evolution of human lifeways. The first volume to chart global human migration and population dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory, in all regions of the world An archaeological odyssey that details the initial spread of early humans out of Africa approximately two million years ago, through the Ice Ages, and down to the continental and island migrations of agricultural populations within the past 10,000 years Employs archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence to demonstrate how migration has always been a vital and complex element in explaining the evolution of the human species Outlines how significant migrations have affected population diversity in every region of the world Clarifies the importance of the development of agriculture as a migratory imperative in later prehistory Fully referenced with detailed maps throughout

Creativity in Human Evolution and Prehistory

Author: Steven Mithen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134720125
Release Date: 2005-08-10
Genre: Social Science

We live in a world surrounded by remarkable cultural achievements of human kind. Almost every day we hear of new innovations in technology, in medicine and in the arts which remind us that humans are capable of remarkable creativity. But what is human creativity? The modern world provides a tiny fraction of cultural diversity and the evidence for human creativity, far more can be seen by looking back into prehistory. The book examines how our understanding of human creativity can be extended by exploring this phenomenon during human evolution and prehistory. The book offers unique perspectives on the nature of human creativity from archaeologists who are concerned with long term patterns of cultural change and have access to quite different types of human behaviour than that which exists today. It asks whether humans are the only creative species, or whether our extinct relatives such as Homo habilis and the Neanderthals also displayed creative thinking. It explores what we can learn about the nature of human creativity from cultural developments during prehistory, such as changes in the manner in which the dead were buried, monuments constructed, and the natural world exploited. In doing so, new light is thrown on these cultural developments and the behaviour of our prehistoric ancestors. By examining the nature of creativity during human evolution and prehistory these archaeologists, supported by contributions from psychology, computer science and social anthropology, show that human creativity is a far more diverse and complex phenomena than simply flashes of genius by isolated individuals. Indeed they show that unless perspectives from prehistory are taken into account, our understanding of human creativity will be limited and incomplete.

Europe Between the Oceans

Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher:
ISBN: 0300170866
Release Date: 2011
Genre: History

By the fifteenth century Europe was a driving world force, but the origins of its success have until now remained obscured in prehistory. In this book, distinguished archaeologist Barry Cunliffe views Europe not in terms of states and shifting political land boundaries but as a geographical niche particularly favored in facing many seas. These seas, and Europe's great transpeninsular rivers, ensured a rich diversity of natural resources while also encouraging the dynamic interaction of peoples across networks of communication and exchange. The development of these early Europeans is rooted in complex interplays, shifting balances, and geographic and demographic fluidity.

What Makes Civilization

Author: David Wengrow
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199699421
Release Date: 2014-11-01
Genre: Egypt

Our attachment to ancient Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Egypt as the "birthplace of civilization", where the foundations of our own societies were laid, is as strong today as it has ever been. When the Iraq Museum in Baghdad was looted in 2003, our newspapers proclaimed "the death of history". Yetthe ancient Near East also remains a source of mystery: a space of the imagination where we explore the discontents of modern civilization. In What Makes Civilization? archaeologist David Wengrow investigates the origins of farming, writing, and cities in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and the connections between them. This is the story of how people first created kingdoms and monuments to the gods - and, just as importantly, how they adoptedeveryday practices that we might now take for granted, such as familiar ways of cooking food and keeping the house and body clean. Why, he asks, have these ancient cultures, where so many features of modern life originated, come to symbolize the remote and the exotic? What challenge do they pose to our assumptions about power, progress, and civilization in human history? And are the sacrifices we now make in the name of "our"civilization really so different from those once made by the peoples of Mesopotamia and Egypt on the altars of the gods?

Coming Home to the Pleistocene

Author: Paul Shepard
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 159726847X
Release Date: 2013-04-16
Genre: Nature

"When we grasp fully that the best expressions of our humanity were not invented by civilization but by cultures that preceded it, that the natural world is not only a set of constraints but of contexts within which we can more fully realize our dreams, we will be on the way to a long overdue reconciliation between opposites which are of our own making." --from Coming Home to the Pleistocene Paul Shepard was one of the most profound and original thinkers of our time. Seminal works like The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game, Thinking Animals, and Nature and Madness introduced readers to new and provocative ideas about humanity and its relationship to the natural world. Throughout his long and distinguished career, Paul Shepard returned repeatedly to his guiding theme, the central tenet of his thought: that our essential human nature is a product of our genetic heritage, formed through thousands of years of evolution during the Pleistocene epoch, and that the current subversion of that Pleistocene heritage lies at the heart of today's ecological and social ills. Coming Home to the Pleistocene provides the fullest explanation of that theme. Completed just before his death in the summer of 1996, it represents the culmination of Paul Shepard's life work and constitutes the clearest, most accessible expression of his ideas. Coming Home to the Pleistocene pulls together the threads of his vision, considers new research and thinking that expands his own ideas, and integrates material within a new matrix of scientific thought that both enriches his original insights and allows them to be considered in a broader context of current intellectual controversies. In addition, the book explicitly addresses the fundamental question raised by Paul Shepard's work: What can we do to recreate a life more in tune with our genetic roots? In this book, Paul Shepard presents concrete suggestions for fostering the kinds of ecological settings and cultural practices that are optimal for human health and well-being. Coming Home to the Pleistocene is a valuable book for those familiar with the life and work of Paul Shepard, as well as for new readers seeking an accessible introduction to and overview of his thought.

The Lost River

Author: Michel Danino
Publisher: Penguin Books India
ISBN: 9780143068648
Release Date: 2010
Genre: India

The Indian subcontinent was the scene of dramatic upheavals a few thousand years ago. The Northwest region entered an arid phase, and erosion coupled with tectonic events played havoc with river courses. One of them disappeared. Celebrated as Sarasvati in the Rig Veda and the Mahabharata, this river was rediscovered in the early nineteenth century through topographic explorations by British officials. Recently, geological and climatological studies have probed its evolution and disappearance, while satellite imagery has traced the river s buried courses and isotope analyses have dated ancient waters still stored under the Thar Desert. In the same Northwest, the subcontinent s first urban society the Indus civilization flourished and declined. But it was not watered by the Indus alone: since Aurel Stein s expedition in the 1940s, hundreds of Harappan sites have been identified in the now dry Sarasvati s basin. The rich Harappan legacy in technologies, arts and culture sowed the seeds of Indian civilization as we know it now. Drawing from recent research in a wide range of disciplines, this book discusses differing viewpoints and proposes a harmonious synthesis a fascinating tale of exploration that brings to life the vital role the lost river of the Indian desert played before its waters gurgled to a stop.

The Neolithic Revolution in the Near East

Author: Alan H. Simmons
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 9780816501274
Release Date: 2011-04-15
Genre: Social Science

One of humanity's most important milestones was the transition from hunting and gathering to food production and permanent village life. This Neolithic Revolution first occurred in the Near East, changing the way humans interacted with their environment and each other, setting the stage, ultimately, for the modern world. Based on more than thirty years of fieldwork, this timely volume examines the Neolithic Revolution in the Levantine Near East and the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Alan H. Simmons explores recent research regarding the emergence of Neolithic populations, using both environmental and theoretical contexts, and incorporates specific case studies based on his own excavations. In clear and graceful prose, Simmons traces chronological and regional differences within this land of immense environmental contrasts—woodland, steppe, and desert. He argues that the Neolithic Revolution can be seen in a variety of economic, demographic, and social guises and that it lacked a single common stimulus. Each chapter includes sections on history, terminology, geographic range, specific domesticated species, the composition of early villages and households, and the development of social, symbolic, and religious behavior. Most chapters include at least one case study and conclude with a concise summary. In addition, Simmons presents a unique chapter on the island of Cyprus, where intriguing new research challenges assumptions about the impact and extent of the Neolithic. The Neolithic Revolution in the Near East conveys the diversity of our Neolithic ancestors, providing a better understanding of the period and the new social order that arose because of it. This insightful volume will be especially useful to Near Eastern scholars and to students of archaeology and the origins of agriculture.

Understanding the Neolithic

Author: Julian Thomas
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134621422
Release Date: 2002-02-07
Genre: Social Science

First published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

World Prehistory and Archaeology

Author: Michael Chazan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781351802888
Release Date: 2017-08-22
Genre: Social Science

An Integrated Picture of Prehistory as an Active Process of Discovery World Prehistory and Archaeology: Pathways through Time, fourth edition, provides an integrated discussion of world prehistory and archaeological methods. This text emphasizes the relevance of how we know and what we know about our human prehistory. A cornerstone of World Prehistory and Archaeology is the discussion of prehistory as an active process of discovery. Methodological issues are addressed throughout the text to engage readers. Archaeological methods are introduced in the first two chapters. Succeeding chapters then address the question of how we know the past to provide an integrated presentation of prehistory. The fourth edition involves readers in the current state of archaeological research, revealing how archaeologists work and interpret what they find. Through the coverage of various new research, author Michael Chazan shows how archaeology is truly a global discipline. Learning Goals Upon completing this book, readers will be able to: * Gain new perspectives and insights into who we are and how our world came into being. * Think about humanity from the perspective of archaeology. * Appreciate the importance of the archaeological record for contemporary society.

The Early History of the Ancient Near East 9000 2000 B C

Author: Hans J. Nissen
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226182698
Release Date: 2011-03-04
Genre: History

Hans J. Nissen here provides a much-needed overview of 7000 years of development in the ancient Near East from the beginning of settled life to the formation of the first regional states. His approach to the study of Mesopotamian civilization differs markedly from conventional orientations, which impose a sharp division between prehistoric and historic, literate, periods. Nissen argues that this approach is too rigid to explain the actual development of that civilization. He deemphasizes the invention of writing as a turning point, viewing it as simply one more phase in the evolution of social complexity and as the result of specific social, economic, and political factors. With a unique combination of material culture analysis written data, Nissan traces the emergence of the earliest isolated settlements, the growth of a network of towns, the emergence of city states, and finally the appearance of territorial states. From his synthesis of the prehistoric and literate periods comes a unified picture of the development of Mesopotamian economy, society, and culture. Lavishly illustrated, The Early History of the Ancient Near East, 9000-2000 B.C. is an authoritative work by one of the most insightful observers of the evolution and character of Mesopotamian civilization.