16th Edition

People of the Earth An Introduction to World Prehistory

By Brian Fagan, Nadia Durrani Copyright 2023
    484 Pages 298 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    484 Pages 298 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    People of the Earth is a narrative account of the prehistory of humankind from our origins over 6 million years ago to the first pre-industrial states, beginning about 5,000 years ago. This is a global prehistory, which covers prehistoric times in every corner of the world in a jargon-free style for newcomers to archaeology. Many world histories begin with the first pre-industrial states. This book starts at the beginning of human history and summarizes the latest research into such major topics as human origins, the emergence and spread of modern humans, the first farming, and the origins of civilization.

    People of the Earth is unique in its even balance of the human past, its readily accessible style, and its flowing narrative that carries the reader through the long sweep of our past. The book is highly illustrated and features boxes and sidebars describing key dating methods and important archaeological sites.

    This classic world prehistory sets the standard for books on the subject and is the most widely used such textbook in the world. It is aimed at introductory students in archaeology and anthropology taking survey courses on the prehistoric past, as well as more advanced readers. It will also appeal to students of human responses to climatic and environmental change.

    Chapter 1 Introducing World Prehistory; PART I BEGINNINGS: 7 Million to 30,000 Years Ago; Chapter 2 Human Origins: 7 Million to 1.89 Million Years ago; Chapter 3 Archaic Humans: 1.9 Million to 30,000 Years Ago; PART II THE GREAT DIASPORA: THE ORIGINS AND SPREAD OF MODERN HUMANS (c. 350,000 Years Ago to Modern Times); Chapter 4 Origins and the Diaspora Begins (c. 350,000 Years Ago and later); Chapter 5 Europe and Eurasia (c. 50,000 to 10,000 Years Ago); Chapter 6 The First Americans (?c. 23,000 years ago to Modern Times); Chapter 7 After the Ice (Before 10000 BC to Modern Times); PART III FIRST FARMERS (c. 10,000 BC TO MODERN TIMES); Chapter 8 Agriculture and Animal Domestication; Chapter 9 The Origins of Food Production in Southwest Asia Climate Change and Adaptation; Chapter 10 The First European Farmers; Chapter 11 First Farmers in Egypt and Tropical Africa; Chapter 12 Asia and the Pacific: Rice, Roots, and Ocean Voyages; Chapter 13 The Story of Maize: Early Farmers in the Americas; PART IV OLD WORLD STATES (c. 3000 BC TO MODERN TIMES); Chapter 14 The Development of States; Chapter 15 Early States in Southwest Asia; Chapter 16 Egypt, Nubia, and Tropical Africa; Chapter 17 Early States in South and Southeast Asia; Chapter 18 Early Chinese States; Chapter 19 Hittites, Minoans, and Mycenaeans; Chapter 20 Europe Before the Romans; PART V NATIVE AMERICAN STATES (BEFORE 2000 BC TO AD 1534); Chapter 21 Mesoamerican States; Chapter 22 Andean States; Glossary of Technical Terms; Bibliography of World Prehistory; Credits; Index.


    Brian M. Fagan is one of the world’s leading archaeological writers and an internationally recognized authority on world prehistory.

    Nadia Durrani is an archaeologist and writer, with a PhD in the archaeology of pre-Islamic Arabia.