The Oxford Illustrated Prehistory of Europe / Edition 1

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Oxford, England 1994 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Small gift stamp to end paper Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 568 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: ... General/trade. Due to size and weight this item does not ship out of the U.S. Read more Show Less

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When a melting Swiss glacier recently revealed the body of a hunter millennia old, the world sat up and took notice. Here, in his well-preserved arrows, tools, and leather garments (not to mention his own remains) was a rare glimpse of life in prehistoric Europe, and it captured the public imagination. Elsewhere more obvious remnants of the pre-classical past have long been objects of fascination: the megaliths of northwestern Europe, the palaces of Crete, the mysterious cave paintings of France. Now archeologist Barry Cunliffe and a team of distinguished experts shed light on this astonishing, long-silent world in a comprehensive and lavishly illustrated account.
Ranging from the earliest settlements through the emergence of Minoan civilization to the barbarian world at the end of the Roman Empire, The Oxford Illustrated Prehistory of Europe provides a fascinating look at how successive cultures adapted to the landscape of Europe. In synthesizing the diverse findings of archeology, the authors capture the sweeping movements of peoples, the spread of agriculture, the growth of metal working, and the rise and fall of cultures. They provide intriguing insight on the Minoan and the Mycenean past underlying classical Greek history, and on the disasters that destroyed Minoan civilization. They explore the increasingly sophisticated societies of northern Europe, revealing surprisingly far-reaching trade between different areas. The peoples of Bronze Age Denmark, for instance, sent amber to Germany in return for scarce metal, while new technologies spread widely across the continent. The book continues through the end of the Roman Empire, exploring the barbarian world beyond Rome's northern frontier.
For centuries, we knew little of the European civilizations that preceded classical Greece or arose outside of the Roman Empire, beyond ancient myths and the writings of Roman observers. Now the most recent discoveries of archeology have been synthesized into one exciting volume. Featuring hundreds of stunning photographs (many in full color), this book provides the most complete account available of the prehistory of European civilization.

When a melting Swiss glacier recently revealed the body of a hunter millenia old, the world sat up and took notice. Now archaeologist Barry Cunliffe and a team of distinguished experts shed light on the astonishing, long-silent world of prehistoric Europe in a comprehensive account. 166 plates, 16 in color; 100 line drawings; maps and charts.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YA-Forty-five color plates, numerous black-and-white photographs, and a quantity of clearly drawn maps and illustrations enliven this thorough examination of ancient Europe. The earliest humans discussed date from around 700,000 years ago. The book ends with the migrations that marked the beginning of Medieval Europe around A.D. 600. In between are chapters on pre-agricultural peoples; the development of agriculture; advances in metal working; the emergence of complex, urban-oriented groups; the rise and fall of the Greek and Roman cultures; and the advent of post-Roman Europe. The 11 authors, all associated with universities in Great Britain, dispel many stereotypes about early humans with the latest archaeological and anthropological information on early technology, communal life, and development of trade. Throughout the account, they are careful to state which conclusions are more concrete and which are more speculative. Also found throughout is a pattern of linking developments in human culture to geographic and environmental factors. The book ends with an extensive index and a well-organized narrative outlining ``Further Reading.'' This section is, in itself, interesting reading. YAs with advanced reading skills who want to steep themselves in a scholarly investigation of one region's earliest human developments will find this volume satisfying and enlightening.-Carolyn E. Gecan, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Gilbert Taylor
In comparison with the lavishly illustrated "People of the Stone Age" , Oxford's volume is less visually stunning but no less fascinating. Although confined to Europe "People" embraced the world and ended with the agricultural revolution, its longer chronology, from the replacement of Neanderthals by, or their evolution into, modern humans 40,000 years ago to the fall of Rome, emcompasses the various ages, including the Paleolithic. To augment the scholarship, there are many glossy, informative illustrations. The writers, all affiliated with British universities, examine self-contained subjects with a degree of accessibility that should appeal to all archaeological tastes. Whether one gravitates to the fabled Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations or to the interaction between barbarian and Roman expansions, each of the 13chapters incorporates the gamut of the profession's tools, such as paleoclimatology concerning the retreat of the glaciers or analysis of artifact distribution buildings, graves, statuettes, pottery, metals, etc.. The resulting text bespeaks long-term use.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198143857
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/1/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 568
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.63 (h) x 1.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Cuncliffe is Professor of European Archaelogy at Oxford University. He is the author of more than forty books and is a member of the Council for British Archeology.

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Table of Contents

List of Colour Plates
List of Maps
Introduction 1
1 The Peopling of Europe, 700,000-40,000 Years before the Present 5
2 The Upper Palaeolithic Revolution 42
3 The Mesolithic Age 79
4 The First Farmers 136
5 The Transformation of Early Agrarian Europe: The Later Neolithic and Copper Ages, 4500-2500 BC 167
6 The Palace Civilizations of Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece, 2000-1200 BC 202
7 The Emergence of Elites: Earlier Bronze Age Europe, 2500-1300 BC 244
8 The Collapse of Aegean Civilization at the End of the Late Bronze Age 277
9 Reformation in Barbarian Europe, 1300-600 BC 304
10 Iron Age Societies in Western Europe and Beyond, 800-140 BC 336
11 Thracians, Scythians, and Dacians 800 BC-AD 300 373
12 The Impact of Rome on Barbarian Society 140 BC-AD 300 411
13 Barbarian Europe, AD 300-700 447
Further Reading 483
Chronological Tables 497
Acknowledgement of Sources 507
Index 511
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