Synopses & Reviews
Written by one of the leading archaeological writers in the world–in a simple, jargon-free narrative style–this brief, well-illustrated account of the major developments in the human past makes world prehistory uniquely accessible to complete beginners.
World Prehistory covers the entire world, not just the Americas or Europe, placing major emphasis on both theories and the latest archaeological and multidisciplinary approaches. The main focus is on four major developments: the origins of humanity; the appearance and spread of modern humans before and during the late Ice Age- including the first settlement of the Americas; the beginnings of food production; and the rise of the first civilizations.
About the Author
is one of the leading archaeological writers in the world and an internationally recognized authority on world prehistory. He studied archaeology and anthropology at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, and then spent seven years in sub-Saharan Africa working in museums and in monument conservation and excavating early farming sites in Zambia and East Africa. He was one of the pioneers of multidisciplinary African history in the 1960s. From 1967 to 2003, he was Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he specialized in lecturing and writing about archaeology to wide audiences. He is now Emeritus.
Professor Fagan has written six best-selling textbooks apart from this book: Ancient Lives: An Introduction to Archaeology; In the Beginning; Archaeology: A Brief Introduction; People of the Earth; World Prehistory, all published by Prentice Hall–that are used around the world. His general books include The Rape of the Nile, a classic history of Egyptology; The Adventure of Archaeology; Time Detectives; Ancient North America; The Little Ice Age, The Long Summer, and Fish on Friday. He is General Editor of the Oxford Companion to Archaeology. In addition, he has published several scholarly monographs on African archaeology and numerous specialized articles in national and international journals. He is also an expert on multimedia teaching and has received the Society for American Archaeology’s first Public Education Award for his indefatigable efforts on behalf of archaeology and education.
Brian Fagan’s other interests include bicycling, sailing, kayaking, and good food. He is married and lives in Santa Barbara with his wife and daughter, four cats (who supervise his writing), and, last but not least, seven rabbits.'
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