World Prehistory: A Brief Introduction, 9th Edition (Paperback) book cover

World Prehistory

A Brief Introduction, 9th Edition

By Brian M. Fagan, Nadia Durrani


454 pages

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Paperback: 9781138190320
pub: 2016-10-07
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pub: 2016-09-13
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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 which 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, pre-industrial civilizations which developed in the Old World and the Americas.

Fully updated to reflect new research, controversies, and theoretical debates, this unique book continues to be 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 which acquaints students with the fascinations of human prehistory.

Table of Contents

PART I Prehistory

Chapter 1 Introducing World Prehistory

PART II The World of the First Humans

Chapter 2 Human Origins

Chapter 3 African Exodus

PART III The Birth of the Modern World

Chapter 4 Diaspora

Chapter 5 The Origins of Food Production

Chapter 6 The Earliest Farmers

Chapter 7 Chiefs and Chiefdoms

PART IV Early Civilizations

Chapter 8 State-Organized Societies

Chapter 9 Mesopotamia and the Eastern Mediterranean World

Chapter 10 Egypt and Africa

Chapter 11 South, Southeast, and East Asia

Chapter 12 Lowland Mesoamerica

Chapter 13 Highland Mesoamerica

Chapter 14 Andean Civilizations

About the Authors

Brian M. Fagan is one of the world’s leading archaeological writers and an internationally recognized authority on world prehistory. He is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Nadia Durrani is a Cambridge University-trained archaeologist and writer, with a PhD from University College, London, in Arabian archaeology. She is former editor of Britain’s best-selling archaeology magazine, Current World Archaeology and has authored and edited many articles and books on archaeology from every corner of the globe.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology


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