This popular introductory textbook provides an overview of more than 3 million years of human prehistory. Written in an accessible and jargon-free style, this engaging volume tells the story of humanity from our beginnings in tropical Africa up to the advent of the world’s first urban civilizations.
A truly global account, World Prehistory surveys the latest advances in the study of human origins and describes the great diaspora of modern humans in the millennia that followed as they settled Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Later chapters consider seminal milestones in prehistory: the origins of food production, the colonization of the offshore Pacific, and the development of the first more complex human societies based, for the most part, on agriculture and stock raising. Finally, Fagan and Durrani examine the prevailing theories regarding early state-organized societies and the often flamboyant, usually volatile, preindustrial civilizations that developed in the Old World and the Americas.
Fully updated to reflect new research, controversies, and theoretical debates, this unique book remains an ideal resource for the beginner first approaching archaeology. Drawing on the experience of two established writers in the field, World Prehistory is a respected classic that acquaints students with the fascinations of human prehistory.
Table of Contents
A Note on Chronologies and Measurements
PART I: PREHISTORY
Introduction: Archaeology and Prehistory
1 Introducing World Prehistory
PART II: THE WORLD OF THE FIRST HUMANS
2 Human Origins
3 African Exodus
PART III: THE BIRTH OF THE MODERN WORLD
Introduction: Moderns, Migrations, and Farmers
5 The Origins of Food Production
6 The Earliest Farmers
7 Chiefs and Chiefdoms
PART IV: EARLY CIVILIZATIONS
Introduction: Old World Civilizations
8 State-Organized Societies
9 Mesopotamia and the Eastern Mediterranean World
10 Egypt and Africa
11 South, Southeast, and East Asia
PART V: PRE-INDUSTRIAL STATES IN THE AMERICAS
Introduction: Mesoamerican and Andean States
12 Lowland Mesoamerica13 Highland Mesoamerica14 Andean Civilizations
Glossary of Technical Terms
Glossary of Archaeological Sites and Cultural terms
Brian M. Fagan is one of the world’s leading archaeological writers and an internationally recognized authority on world prehistory. He is an emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Nadia Durrani trained at Cambridge University and took a PhD from University College, London, in Arabian archaeology. The former editor of the UK's leading archaeology magazine, for the past decade she has been writing books with Fagan.