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Handbook to Life in Prehistoric Europe

Overview

For most of Europe's long past we have no writing, no named individuals, no recorded deeds. This means that its history is almost entirely that of the ordinary individual—the hunger-gatherer, farmer, or metallurgist—rather than the king. Evidence of privileged elites and material splendor is not lacking, however. The skills and expertise of prehistoric Europeans were often employed in the production of exquisite jewelry, elaborately woven cloth, beautifully made tools, and finely wrought weapons. Though the ...

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Overview

For most of Europe's long past we have no writing, no named individuals, no recorded deeds. This means that its history is almost entirely that of the ordinary individual—the hunger-gatherer, farmer, or metallurgist—rather than the king. Evidence of privileged elites and material splendor is not lacking, however. The skills and expertise of prehistoric Europeans were often employed in the production of exquisite jewelry, elaborately woven cloth, beautifully made tools, and finely wrought weapons. Though the palaces that have attracted excavators in other lands are absent, there are few monuments elsewhere in the world to rival Europe's massive megalithic tombs or great stone circles. And though individuals preserve their anonymity and many of their secrets, modern technology has made it possible to reveal parts of their life history in astonishing detail.

Handbook to Life in Prehistoric Europe gathers the results of recent archaeological discoveries and scholarly research into a single accessible volume. Organized thematically, the handbook covers all aspects of life in prehistoric Europe, including the geography of the continent, settlement, trade and transport, industry and crafts, religion, death and burial, warfare, language, the arts, and more. Complemented with more than 75 illustrations and maps, the result is a fascinating introduction to the 7,000-year period that immediately preceded the Roman Empire.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195384765
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Pages: 418
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane McIntosh is the author of many articles and books, including The Practical Archaeologist and Eyewitness Archaeology.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Geography of Ancient Europe
The Mediterranean
The Mountains
Temperate Europe
The Atlantic Facade and the North Sea
The Far North
Environmental Change
Reading
2. The Development of Europe
Palaeolithic Europe
Early Postglacial Europe
Neolithic Consolidation
Late Neolithic
Chalcolithic
The Bronze Age
The Iron Age
After the Roman Conquest
Reading
3. Economy
Agriculture
Wild Resources
Economic Strategies
Reading
4. Settlement
Construction
Domestic Architecture
Settlements
Landscape
Reading
5. Trade and Transport
Trade
Land Transport
Water Transport
Reading
6. Industry and Crafts
Wood
Textiles, Basketry, Nets, and Mats
Leathers and Furs
Bone, Horn, Antler, and Ivory
Stone
Salt
Metallurgy
Ceramics
Vitreous Materials
Other Materials
Reading
7. Religion
Religious Believe and Practice
Shrines and Sacred Places
Reading
8. Death and Burial
Funerary Practices
Monumental Tombs
Reading
9. Warfare
Weapons and Armor
Fortifications and Defenses
Warriors
Conflicts, Battles, and Wars
Reading
10. Language, Literature, and the Arts
European Languages
Writing
Literature
Visual Arts
Performing Arts
Reading
11. Society and Life
Social and Political Organization
Crime and Punishment
The Organization of Industry
Gender
Everyday Life
Personal Appearance
Food
Health and Medicine
Reading

Chronological Chart
List of Museums with Important European Material and Open-Air Museums
Bibliography
Electronic Resources
Index

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