World Prehistory and Archaeology: Pathways Through Time, 4th Edition (Paperback) book cover

World Prehistory and Archaeology

Pathways Through Time, 4th Edition

By Michael Chazan


460 pages

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An Integrated Picture of Prehistory as an Active Process of Discovery

World Prehistory and Archaeology: Pathways through Time, fourth edition, provides an integrated discussion of world prehistory and archaeological methods. This text emphasizes the relevance of how we know and what we know about our human prehistory. A cornerstone of World Prehistory and Archaeology is the discussion of prehistory as an active process of discovery. Methodological issues are addressed throughout the text to engage readers.

Archaeological methods are introduced in the first two chapters. Succeeding chapters then address the question of how we know the past to provide an integrated presentation of prehistory. The fourth edition involves readers in the current state of archaeological research, revealing how archaeologists work and interpret what they find. Through the coverage of various new research, author Michael Chazan shows how archaeology is truly a global discipline.

Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, readers will be able to:

* Gain new perspectives and insights into who we are and how our world came into being.

* Think about humanity from the perspective of archaeology.

* Appreciate the importance of the archaeological record for contemporary society.


An excellent overview for the introductory student in Prehistory and Archaeology. Taking a globalized focus to social complexity, Chazan has created a text that holistically takes humans from their earliest hominin origins through the expansion of civilizations around the world. In doing so, Chazan includes introductory archaeological principles, new information on hominin evolution, and does not preclude the State as a necessity of social complexity.

- Brad Biglow, Florida State College at Jacksonville, USA

Table of Contents

Part One: The Past is a Foreign Country: Getting from Here to There

Introduction: Questions of Time and Ethics

Chapter 1: Getting Started In Archaeology

Chapter 2: Putting the Picture Together

Part Two: Human Evolution

Introduction: Our Place in Nature

Chapter 3: Early Hominins

Chapter 4: From Homo erectus To Neanderthals

Chapter 5: The Origin of Modern Humans

Chapter 6: The Peopling Of Australia and the New World

Part Three: Perspectives on Agriculture

Introduction: Definitions of Agriculture

Chapter 7: Towers, Villages, and Longhouses

Chapter 8: Mounds and Maize

Chapter 9: A Feast of Diversity

Part Four: The Development of Social Complexity

Introduction: Defining Social Complexity

Chapter 10: Complexity without the State

Chapter 11: Cities, Pyramids, and Palaces: Early States of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Aegean

Chapter 12: Locating the Source of Authority: Early States in Asia

Chapter 13: From City to Empire: Social Complexity in Mesoamerica

Chapter 14: Bringing the Four Parts Together: States and Empire in the Andes




Name Index

Subject Index

About the Author

Michael Chazan is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and the director of the Archaeology Centre at the University of Toronto, Canada. He earned his PhD in anthropology at Yale University, USA. Before coming to Toronto, Professor Chazan was a postdoctoral fellow with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, France, and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. His field experience includes excavations in New Jersey, France, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and South Africa. Professor Chazan’s previous publications include a monograph on the Lower Paleolithic site of Holon, Israel, co-authored with Liora Kolska-Horwitz.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology


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