11th Edition

World Prehistory A Brief Introduction

By Brian M. Fagan, Nadia Durrani Copyright 2023
    518 Pages 188 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    518 Pages 188 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is an introduction to human prehistory written for complete beginners with a global perspective. It is written in a jargon-free style that covers 6 million years of the remote past from human origins to the first pre-industrial civilizations, balancing theoretical discussion with descriptions and analysis of major sites and cultural developments.

    World Prehistory provides a unique and balanced narrative of what happened in the prehistoric past and why. The book is well worth acquiring, as it provides essential historical background to a wide variety of subjects, from written history and environmental studies to climate change. Chronological tables, numerous illustrations, guides to further reading, and stand-alone boxes on some archaeological methods, key sites, and some people of the past amplify much of the basic narrative.

    This global prehistory is aimed at people with no background in archaeology, undergraduates at all levels, and participants in graduate seminars on a wide range of subjects. Numerous people with a general interest in archaeology and multidisciplinary history have acquired and enjoyed this book.

    Preface; Acknowledgments; A Note on Chronologies and Measurements; Part I 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: 4 Diaspora, 5 The Origins of Food Production; 6 The Earliest Farmers; 7 Chiefs and Chiefdoms; Part IV The First States (Preindustrial Civilizations): 8 State-Organized Societies; 9 Mesopotamia and the Eastern Mediterranean World; 10 Egypt and Africa; 11 South, Southeast, and East Asia; PART V Preindustrial States in the Americas: 12 Lowland Mesoamerica; 13 Highland Mesoamerica; 14 Andean States; Epilogue; Glossary of Technical Terms; Glossary of Archaeological Sites and Cultural Terms; References; Index.


    Brian M. Fagan is a Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. He graduated from Cambridge University. His many books include eight bestselling undergraduate texts on archaeology (with Nadia Durrani), with whom he also wrote Climate Chaos: Lessons on Survival from our Ancestors.

    Nadia Durrani, FSA, read archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge University before taking a PhD in archaeology from University College London. An editor and author within archaeology, she has collaborated widely with Brian Fagan including as co-author of Bigger Than History: Why Archaeology Matters.