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
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.
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