Author: Steven Mithen
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2011-12-08
A fantastic voyage through 15,000 years of history that laid the foundations for civilisation as we know it by award-winning science writer Steven Mithen. Twenty thousand years ago Earth was in the midst of an ice age. Then global warming arrived, leading to massive floods, the spread of forests and the retreat of the deserts. By 5,000 BC a radically different human world had appeared. In place of hunters and gatherers there were farmers; in place of transient campsites there were towns. The foundations of our modern world had been laid and nothing that came after - the Industrial Revolution, the atomic age, the internet - have ever matched the significance of those events. AFTER THE ICE tells the story of climate change's impact during this momentous period - one that also saw the colonisation of the Americas and mass extinctions of animals throughout the world. Drawing on the latest cutting-edge research in archaeology, cognitive science, palaeontology, geology and the evolutionary sciences, Steven Mithen creates an evocative, original and remarkably complete picture of minds, cultures, lives and landscapes through 15,000 years of history.
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Release Date: 2013-09-02
Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.
"This book is an exploration of the spiritual traditions of ancient Europe, focusing on the numinous presence of the divine feminine in Russia, Central Europe, France, Britain, Ireland and the northern regions. The book shows how the power of European goddesses and holy women evolved through the ages"--
It’s an astonishing fact that capturing all the energy in just one hour’s worth of sunlight would enable us to meet the planet’s food and energy needs for an entire year. The Solar Revolution tells the story of how scientists are working to reconnect us to the ‘solar economy’, harnessing the power of the sun to provide sustainable food and energy for a global population of 10 billion people: an achievement that would end our dependence on ‘fossilised sunshine’ in the form of coal, oil and gas and remake our connection with the soil that grows our food. Steve McKevitt and Tony Ryan describe the human race’s complex relationship with the sun and take us back through history to see how our world became the place it is today – chemically, geologically, ecologically, climatically and economically – before moving on to the cutting-edge science and technology that will enable us to live happily in a sustainable future.
Author: Francis Pryor
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2014-10-02
Genre: Social Science
In Home Francis Pryor, author of The Making of the British Landscape, archaeologist and broadcaster, takes us on his lifetime's quest: to discover the origins of family life in prehistoric Britain Francis Pryor's search for the origins of our island story has been the quest of a lifetime. In Home, the Time Team expert explores the first nine thousand years of life in Britain, from the retreat of the glaciers to the Romans' departure. Tracing the settlement of domestic communities, he shows how archaeology enables us to reconstruct the evolution of habits, traditions and customs. But this, too, is Francis Pryor's own story: of his passion for unearthing our past, from Yorkshire to the west country, Lincolnshire to Wales, digging in freezing winters, arid summers, mud and hurricanes, through frustrated journeys and euphoric discoveries. Evocative and intimate, Home shows how, in going about their daily existence, our prehistoric ancestors created the institution that remains at the heart of the way we live now: the family. 'Under his gaze, the land starts to fill with tribes and clans wandering this way and that, leaving traces that can still be seen today . . . Pryor feels the land rather than simply knowing it' - Guardian Former president of the Council for British Archaeology, Dr Francis Pryor has spent over thirty years studying our prehistory. He has excavated sites as diverse as Bronze Age farms, field systems and entire Iron Age villages. He appears frequently on TV's Time Team and is the author of The Making of the British Landscape, Seahenge, as well as Britain BC and Britain AD, both of which he adapted and presented as Channel 4 series.
This book opens a window on our historical past. We find antiquity has drawn a blind over earlier and more humanitarian cultures, writing off their artistic and egalitarian practices – while antiquity’s social habits escalated stress. Psychologists have recently made us aware that stress has very negative results for community life. Simultaneously, archaeologists have uncovered information about Neolithic cultures and art that makes no sense seen beside ancient Greek descriptions. The more we learn about Old Europe, the more staggering and distorted the policies conveyed in ancient Greek myths, dramas, and epic poems become. Surprisingly, the Achaeans also show an intimate knowledge about their predecessor’s social values. Sadly, the Renaissance uncritically fell for the ancient Greek’s version of history, seeing it as the cradle of civilisation and our cultural heritage. They have even passed on these ideas to us today. Discovering A Humanitarian Past pitches us into an exciting and previously unexplored part of the human story.
This book takes a fresh look at the most disliked tree in Britain and Ireland, explaining the reasons it was introduced and why it became ubiquitous in the archipelagos of northwest Europe. Sitka spruce has contributed to the Pacific Coast landscapes of North America for over ten millennia. For the Tlingit First Nation it is the most important tree in terms of spiritual relationships, art, and products in daily use such as canoes, containers, fish-traps and sweet cakes. Since the late nineteenth century it has also been the most important tree to the timber industry of west coast North America. The historical background to the modern use of Sitka spruce is explored. The lack of cultural reference may explain negative public response when treeless uplands in the UK and Ireland were afforested with introduced conifer species, particularly Sitka spruce, following two World Wars. The multipurpose forestry of today recognizes that Sitka spruce is the most important tree to the timber industry and to a public which uses its many products but fails to recognize the link between growing trees and bought goods. The apparently featureless and wildlife-less Sitka spruce plantations in UK uplands are gradually developing recognizable ecological features. Sitka spruce has the potential to form temperate rain forests this century as well as to produce much-needed goods for society. The major contribution of Sitka spruce to landscapes and livelihoods in western North America is, by contrast, widely accepted. But conserving natural, old-growth forests, sustaining the needs of First Nations, and producing materials for the modern timber industry will be an intricate task.
Author: Guy Deutscher
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Comparative linguistics
"Ich spreche Spanisch zu Gott, Italienisch zu den Frauen, Französisch zu den Männern und Deutsch zu meinem Pferd.' Die scherzhafte Vermutung Karls V., dass verschiedene Sprachen nicht in allen Situationen gleich gut zu gebrauchen sind, findet wohl auch heute noch breite Zustimmung. Doch ist sie aus sprachwissenschaftlicher Sicht haltbar? Sind alle Sprachen gleich komplex, oder ist Sprache ein Spiegel ihrer kulturellen Umgebung - sprechen 'primitive' Völker 'primitive' Sprachen? Und inwieweit sieht die Welt, wenn sie 'durch die Brille' einer anderen Sprache gesehen wird, anders aus? Das neue Buch des renommierten Linguisten Guy Deutscher ist eine sagenhafte Tour durch Länder, Zeiten und Sprachen. Auf seiner Reise zu den aktuellsten Ergebnissen der Sprachforschung geht Guy Deutscher mit Captain Cook auf Känguruh-Jagd, prüft mit William Gladstone die vermeintliche Farbblindheit der Griechen zur Zeit Homers und verfolgt Rudolf Virchow in Carl Hagenbecks Zoo auf dem Kurfürstendamm im Berlin des 19. Jahrhunderts. Mitreisende werden nicht nur mit einer glänzend unterhaltsamen Übersicht der Sprachforschung, mit humorvollen Highlights, unerwarteten Wendungen und klugen Antworten belohnt. Sie vermeiden auch einen Kardinalfehler, dem Philologen, Anthropologen und - wer hätte das gedacht - auch Naturwissenschaftler allzu lange aufgesessen sind: die Macht der Kultur zu unterschätzen." -- Publisher's website.
Author: Ian Goldin
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2014-05-15
Genre: Business & Economics
What are the impacts of population growth? Can our planet support the demands of the ten billion people anticipated to be the world's population by the middle of this century? While it is common to hear about the problems of overpopulation, might there be unexplored benefits of increasing numbers of people in the world? How can we both consider and harness the potential benefits brought by a healthier, wealthier and larger population? May more people mean more scientists to discover how our world works, more inventors and thinkers to help solve the world's problems, more skilled people to put these ideas into practice? In this book, leading academics with a wide range of expertise in demography, philosophy, biology, climate science, economics and environmental sustainability explore the contexts, costs and benefits of a burgeoning population on our economic, social and environmental systems.
It’s an astonishing fact that capturing all the energy in just one hour’s worth of sunlight would enable us to meet the planet’s food and energy needs for an entire year. Project Sunshine tells the story of how scientists are working to reconnect us to the ‘solar economy’, harnessing the power of the sun to provide sustainable food and energy for a global population of 10 billion people: an achievement that would end our dependence on ‘fossilised sunshine’ in the form of coal, oil and gas and remake our connection with the soil that grows our food. Steve McKevitt and Tony Ryan describe the human race’s complex relationship with the sun and take us back through history to see how our world became the place it is today – chemically, geologically, ecologically, climatically and economically – before moving on to the cutting-edge science and technology that will enable us to live happily in a sustainable future.