After the Ice

Author: Steven Mithen
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674019997
Release Date: 2006
Genre: History

Brings to life fifteen thousand years of human history in a study that follows an imaginary modern traveler who visits and observes prehistoric communities and landscapes that laid the foundations of the modern world.

After the Ice

Author: Steven Mithen
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9781780222592
Release Date: 2011-12-08
Genre: Science

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.

After the Ice

Author: Steven Mithen
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 9781780222592
Release Date: 2011-12-08
Genre: Science

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.

Thirst

Author: Steven Mithen
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674072190
Release Date: 2012-11-26
Genre: Social Science

Freshwater shortages will affect 75% of the world’s population by 2050. Mithen puts this crisis into context by exploring 10,000 years of water management. Thirst tells of civilizations defeated by the water challenge, and of technological ingenuity that sustained communities in hostile environments. Work with nature, not against it, he advises.

After the Ice Age

Author: E. C. Pielou
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226668096
Release Date: 2008-04-15
Genre: Science

The fascinating story of how a harsh terrain that resembled modern Antarctica has been transformed gradually into the forests, grasslands, and wetlands we know today. "One of the best scientific books published in the last ten years."—Ottowa Journal "A valuable new synthesis of facts and ideas about climate, geography, and life during the past 20,000 years. More important, the book conveys an intimate appreciation of the rich variety of nature through time."—S. David Webb,Science

Creativity in Human Evolution and Prehistory

Author: Steven Mithen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134720125
Release Date: 2005-08-10
Genre: Social Science

We live in a world surrounded by remarkable cultural achievements of human kind. Almost every day we hear of new innovations in technology, in medicine and in the arts which remind us that humans are capable of remarkable creativity. But what is human creativity? The modern world provides a tiny fraction of cultural diversity and the evidence for human creativity, far more can be seen by looking back into prehistory. The book examines how our understanding of human creativity can be extended by exploring this phenomenon during human evolution and prehistory. The book offers unique perspectives on the nature of human creativity from archaeologists who are concerned with long term patterns of cultural change and have access to quite different types of human behaviour than that which exists today. It asks whether humans are the only creative species, or whether our extinct relatives such as Homo habilis and the Neanderthals also displayed creative thinking. It explores what we can learn about the nature of human creativity from cultural developments during prehistory, such as changes in the manner in which the dead were buried, monuments constructed, and the natural world exploited. In doing so, new light is thrown on these cultural developments and the behaviour of our prehistoric ancestors. By examining the nature of creativity during human evolution and prehistory these archaeologists, supported by contributions from psychology, computer science and social anthropology, show that human creativity is a far more diverse and complex phenomena than simply flashes of genius by isolated individuals. Indeed they show that unless perspectives from prehistory are taken into account, our understanding of human creativity will be limited and incomplete.

First Migrants

Author: Peter Bellwood
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118325896
Release Date: 2014-01-13
Genre: Social Science

The first publication to outline the complex global story of human migration and dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory. Utilizing archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence, Peter Bellwood traces the journeys of the earliest hunter-gatherer and agriculturalist migrants as critical elements in the evolution of human lifeways. The first volume to chart global human migration and population dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory, in all regions of the world An archaeological odyssey that details the initial spread of early humans out of Africa approximately two million years ago, through the Ice Ages, and down to the continental and island migrations of agricultural populations within the past 10,000 years Employs archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence to demonstrate how migration has always been a vital and complex element in explaining the evolution of the human species Outlines how significant migrations have affected population diversity in every region of the world Clarifies the importance of the development of agriculture as a migratory imperative in later prehistory Fully referenced with detailed maps throughout

What Makes Civilization

Author: David Wengrow
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199699421
Release Date: 2014-11-01
Genre: Egypt

Our attachment to ancient Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Egypt as the "birthplace of civilization", where the foundations of our own societies were laid, is as strong today as it has ever been. When the Iraq Museum in Baghdad was looted in 2003, our newspapers proclaimed "the death of history". Yetthe ancient Near East also remains a source of mystery: a space of the imagination where we explore the discontents of modern civilization. In What Makes Civilization? archaeologist David Wengrow investigates the origins of farming, writing, and cities in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and the connections between them. This is the story of how people first created kingdoms and monuments to the gods - and, just as importantly, how they adoptedeveryday practices that we might now take for granted, such as familiar ways of cooking food and keeping the house and body clean. Why, he asks, have these ancient cultures, where so many features of modern life originated, come to symbolize the remote and the exotic? What challenge do they pose to our assumptions about power, progress, and civilization in human history? And are the sacrifices we now make in the name of "our"civilization really so different from those once made by the peoples of Mesopotamia and Egypt on the altars of the gods?

Neolithic

Author: Susan McCarter
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134220397
Release Date: 2012-11-12
Genre: Social Science

This excellent introductory textbook describes and explains the origins of modern culture– the dawn of agriculture in the Neolithic area. Written in an easy-to-read style, this lively and engaging book familiarises the reader with essential archaeological and genetic terms and concepts, explores the latest evidence from scientific analyses as varied as deep sea coring, pollen identification, radiometric dating and DNA research, condensing them into an up-to-date academic account, specifically written to be clear even the novice reader. Focusing primarily on sites in southwest Asia, Neolithic addresses questions such as: Which plants and animals were the first to be domesticated, and how? How did life change when people began farming? What were the first villages like? What do we know about the social, political and religious life of these newly founded societies? What happened to human health as a result of the Neolithic Revolution? Lavishly illustrated with almost a hundred images, this enjoyable book is an ideal introduction both for students of archaeology and for general readers interested in our past.

Europe Between the Oceans

Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher:
ISBN: 0300170866
Release Date: 2011
Genre: History

By the fifteenth century Europe was a driving world force, but the origins of its success have until now remained obscured in prehistory. In this book, distinguished archaeologist Barry Cunliffe views Europe not in terms of states and shifting political land boundaries but as a geographical niche particularly favored in facing many seas. These seas, and Europe's great transpeninsular rivers, ensured a rich diversity of natural resources while also encouraging the dynamic interaction of peoples across networks of communication and exchange. The development of these early Europeans is rooted in complex interplays, shifting balances, and geographic and demographic fluidity.

Prehistory

Author: Colin Renfrew
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
ISBN: 9780812976618
Release Date: 2009
Genre: History

In this invaluable, brief account of human development prior to the last four millennia, Colin Renfrew delivers a meticulously researched and passionately argued chronicle about our life on earth, and our ongoing quest to understand it.

Cro Magnon

Author: Brian Fagan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1608191672
Release Date: 2010-06-01
Genre: History

Cro-Magnons were the first fully modern Europeans-not only the creators of the stunning cave paintings at Lascaux and elsewhere, but the most adaptable and technologically inventive people that had yet lived on earth. The prolonged encounter between the Cro-Magnons and the archaic Neanderthals and between 45,000 and 30,000 years ago was one of the defining moments of history. The Neanderthals survived for some 15,000 years in the face of the newcomers, but were finally pushed aside by the Cro-Magnons' vastly superior intellectual abilities and cutting-edge technologies, which allowed them to thrive in the intensely challenging climate of the Ice Age. What do we know about this remarkable takeover? Who were the first modern Europeans and what were they like? How did they manage to thrive in such an extreme environment? And what legacy did they leave behind them after the cold millennia? The age of the Cro-Magnons lasted some 30,000 years-longer than all of recorded history. Cro-Magnon is the story of a little known, yet seminal, chapter of human experience.

Neanderthals Bandits and Farmers

Author: Colin Tudge
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300080247
Release Date: 1998
Genre: History

Tradition has it that agriculture began in the Middle East around 10,000 years ago, that once people realized the advantages of farming, it spread rapidly to the furthest outposts of the world, and that this led to the Neolithic Revolution and the end of the hunting-gathering lifestyle. In this book Colin Tudge argues that agriculture in some form was in the repertoire of our ancestors for thousands of years before the Neolithic farming revolution: people did not suddenly invent forced into it over a long period. What we see in the Neolithic Revolution is not the beginning of agriculture on a large scale, in one place, with refined tools. Drawing on a wide range of evidence from fossil records to the Bible, Tudge offers a persuasive hypothesis about a puzzling epoch in our past. In so doing, he provides new insights into the Pleistocene overkill, the demise of the Neanderthals, the location of the biblical Eden, and much more.

Life from an RNA World

Author: Michael Yarus
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674050754
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Science

A majority of evolutionary biologists believe that we now can envision our biological predecessorsâe"not the first, but nearly the first, living beings on Earth. Life from an RNA World is about these vanished forebears, sketching them in the distant past just as their workings first began to resemble our own. The advances that have made such a pursuit possible are rarely discussed outside of bio-labs. So here, says author Michael Yarus, is an album for interested non-biologists, an introduction to our relatives in deep time, slouching between the first rudimentary life on Earth and the appearance of more complex beings. The era between, and the focus of Yarusâe(tm) work, is called the RNA world. It is RNA (ribonucleic acid) long believed to be a mere biologic copier and messenger, that offers us this glimpse into our ancient predecessors. To describe early RNA creatures, here called âeoeribocytesâe or RNA cells, Yarus deploys some basics of molecular biology. He reviews our current understanding of the tree of life, examines the structure of RNA itself, explains the operation of the genetic code, and covers much elseâe"all in an effort to reveal a departed biological world across billions of years between its heyday and ours. Courting controversy among those who question the role of âeoeribocytesâe âe"citing the chemical fragility of RNA and the uncertainty about the origin of an RNA synthetic apparatusâe"Yarus offers an invaluable vision of early life on Earth. And his book makes that early form of life, our ancestor within, accessible to all of us.