Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC-AD 1000

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In this magnificent book, distinguished archaeologist Barry Cunliffe reframes our entire conception of early European history, from prehistory through the ancient world to the medieval Viking period. 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.

Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, and history, Cunliffe has produced an interdisciplinary tour de force. His is a bold book of exceptional scholarship, erudite and engaging, and it heralds an entirely new understanding of Old Europe.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Cunliffe, emeritus professor of archeology at Oxford, colorfully weaves history, geography archeology and anthropology into a mesmerizing tapestry chronicling the development of Europe. The sheer size of the European coastlines, as well as the inland rivers pouring into these seas, enabled many groups to move easily from one place to another and establish cultures that flourished commercially. Between 2800 and 1300 B.C., for example, Britain, the Nordic states, Greece and the western Mediterranean states were bound together by their maritime exchange of bronze, whose use in Britain and Ireland had spread by 1400 B.C. to Greece and the Aegean. From 800 to 500 B.C.-the "three hundred years that changed the world"-the Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans and Carthaginians emerged from relative obscurity into major empires whose struggles to control the seas were for the first time recorded in writing. Cunliffe points out that each oceanic culture developed unique sailing vessels for the kinds of commerce peculiar to it. Richly told, Cunliffe's tale yields a wealth of insights into the earliest days of European civilization. Illus., maps. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300170863
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 513,115
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Cunliffe is one of the most important and distinguished archaeologists in Europe. He is professor of archaeology at the University of Oxford and is the author of over fifteen books. He lives in Oxford, UK.
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Table of Contents

1 Ways of Seeing: Space, Time and People 1

2 The Land between the Oceans 31

3 Food for the Gathering 62

4 The First Farmers: From the Fertile Crescent to the Danube Valley: 7500-5000 BC 88

5 Assimilation in the Maritime Regions: 6000-3800 BC 113

6 Europe in Her Infinite Variety: c.4500-2800 BC 140

7 Taking to the Sea - Crossing the Peninsula: 2800-1300 BC 179

8 Emerging Eurozones: 1300-800 BC 229

9 The Three Hundred Years That Changed the World: 800-500 BC 270

10 States in Collision: 500-140 BC 317

11 The Interlude of Empire: 140 BC-AD 300 364

12 The Turn of the Tide: AD 300-800 407

11 Europe Rebalanced: A D 800-1000 445

14 The Longue Duree 475

Further Reading 481

Index 501

Sources of Illustrations 517

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