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Overview

Understand major developments of human prehistory

People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory 14/e, provides an exciting journey though the 7-million-year-old panorama of humankind’s past. Giving equal treatment to both well-trodden and more obscure parts of the world, People of the Earth shows how today's diverse humanity developed biologically and culturally over millions of years against a background of constant climatic change.

MySearchLab is a part of the Fagan/Durrani program. Research and writing tools help students master basic writing skills. With MySearchLab, students can access academic journals and census data and receive aid throughout the writing process.

This title is available in a variety of formats — digital and print. Pearson offers its titles on the devices students love through Pearson’s MyLab products, CourseSmart, Amazon, and more. To learn more about our programs, pricing options and customization, click the Choices tab.

0205968023 / 9780205968022 People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory Plus MySearchLab with Pearson eText -- Access Card Package

Package consists of:

0205239927 / 9780205239924 MySearchLab with Pearson eText -- Valuepack Access Card

0205966551 / 9780205966554 People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Engaging, easy to read, and the supplements help the education process. . . it is a perfect tool for teachers to send students off to read before lectures. "

- Stephen Brighton, University of Maryland

“I've always appreciated the coverage of South and Southeast Asia. Also the different theoretical perspectives and debates.”

- Jaida Samudra, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

“I don't think there is a better way to arrange the book. The text and material are teachable and easily translatable to lectures and presentations.”

- Steve Corbett, Johnson County Community College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205966554
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 8/26/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 14
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 261,741
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Fagan is one of the world’s leading archaeological writers and an internationally recognized authority on human 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 monuments 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 of Anthropology.

Brian Fagan has written several best-selling textbooks and has published several scholarly monographs on African archaeology and numerous specialized articles in national and international journals. An expert on multimedia teaching, he has received the Society for American Archaeology’s first Public Education Award for his tireless 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, three cats (who supervise his writing), and last but not least, a minimum of seven rabbits.

Nadia Durrani is an archaeologist and writer. For much of the past decade she was the editor of Britain’s best-selling archaeology magazine, Current World Archaeology, becoming an independent editor after the arrival of her son in 2010. She has authored and edited many hundreds of articles on archaeology from every corner of the globe, contributed to dozens of books, and written two.

Throughout her career she has travelled widely --from Peru to Pakistan--to report on the latest archaeological discoveries; worked as a specialist lecturer on archaeological tours to countries including Yemen and Jordan; and contributed to a range of television documentaries.

Her specialist area is Arabian archaeology and, following a degree in archaeology and anthropology from Cambridge University, she took a PhD in South West Arabian archaeology from University College, London (2001). Other research interests include the archaeology of the First World War and she is a founding member of the Great War Archaeology Group. A fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, she lives in London with her husband, Matthew, and son Jacob ‘Caractacus’ Hillier.

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Read an Excerpt

PREFACE:

PREFACE

Golden pharaohs, lost cities, grinning human skeletons—archaeology is the stuff of romance and legend. Many people still think of archaeologists as adventurers and treasure hunters, like Indiana Jones of Hollywood movie fame seeking the elusive Holy Grail. This enduring image goes back to the late nineteenth century, when archaeologists like Heinrich Schliemann of Troy fame could still find lost civilizations and excavate three royal palaces in a week. Today, few, if any, archaeologists behave like Indiana Jones. They are scientists, not adventurers, as comfortable in an air-conditioned laboratory as they are on a remote excavation. The development of scientific archaeology from its Victorian beginnings ranks among the greatest triumphs of twentieth-century science. Archaeology has changed our perceptions of ourselves in profound ways, giving us a better understanding of our biological and cultural diversity. Welcome to the fascinating world of archaeology!

The tenth edition of People of the Earth comes at a time when new discoveries and archaeological methodologies are deeply affecting our understanding of the human past. This edition continues a more-than-25-year tradition of clear, jargon-free writing for the beginning student, the incorporation of the latest scholarship, and an accessible (five-part) organization of the story of world prehistory. This time, I have added both valuable new content and effective new pedagogy to what has always been a straightforward narrative. But the basic objective remains the same: to provide an interesting journey through the 5-million-year-old landscape of the human past. At thesame time, the book attempts to achieve geographical balance, giving equal time to both well-trodden and less-well-known parts of the world. Any world prehistory that does otherwise is presenting a skewed picture of the human past. People of the Earth is an adventure in archaeology. I hope you enjoy your sojourn in its pages.

Writing a straightforward narrative of human prehistory is a mammoth task, especially at a time when a torrent of new literature about archaeological discoveries around the world is revolutionizing our knowledge of the remote past. We are well beyond the point where a single author can possibly hope to keep up with every new find and intellectual development in world archaeology, but I have done my best, while trying to keep the narrative as simple and uncluttered as possible. The past five years alone have witnessed remarkable discoveries, among them new early fossil hominids from East Africa, major changes in the dating of the first settlement of the Americas and early farming, and a revolution in our knowledge of short-term climatic change in the past.

CHANGES IN THE TENTH EDITION

Our knowledge of world prehistory increases constantly, mostly in fits and starts, but, occasionally in a dramatic way, when new fossil discoveries in Ethiopia rewrite a chapter of early human evolution, or the decipherment of Maya script adds a new dimension to our understanding of an early civilization. For the most part, however, the changes are relatively small and undramatic. The tenth edition reflects a combination of a few major discoveries, like the primordial hominid Australopithecus garhi in East Africa, with numerous less spectacular, but nevertheless important, advances like new data on the origins of rice agriculture in Asia.

Following reviewer suggestions, I have retained the same basic organization of the book for this edition. Chapter 1 introduces world prehistory and discusses new perceptions of the subject derived from new perspectives on the past. We survey alternative perspectives on the past and outline some of the important theoretical frameworks that influence our thinking about prehistory. People of the Earth has always been designed as a straightforward narrative, which is why the book is not written with a specific theoretical perspective. Judging from reviewer and user comments, this is a wise decision, as this allows instructors to add their own biases and viewpoints to the basic narrative material. I have, of course, paid careful attention to such major controversies as the origins of modern humans and the first settlement of the Americas, where an even-handed perspective is essential. The tenth edition now includes Site Boxes in each chapter, which discuss key locations and discoveries where more detailed information is valuable. Examples include the spectacular Grotte de Chauvet cave paintings in France, and the Lords of Sipan from coastal Peru—one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the twentieth century. A series of boxes in the earlier chapters of the book describe key dating methods at appropriate places in the text.

The narrative of world prehistory itself is divided into five parts. Part I (Chapters 2 and 3) discusses human beginnings, what is sometimes called "archaic prehistory," the human past from the earliest times tip to the appearance of Homo sapiens sapiens: ourselves. Here we cover the important new fossil discoveries of recent years and such fascinating sites as Boxgrove in southern England. We also continue to take account of new theoretical advances in cognitive, or "postprocessual," archaeology, especially of the emerging synthesis of evolutionary psychology and archaeology. Part II (Chapters 4 to 7) discusses what I call the "Great Diaspora," the spread of anatomically modern humans through the world during, and immediately after, the late Ice Age. For this edition, I have moved the chapter on the First Americans forward in the book, so that the reader goes from Europe and Eurasia straight into the Americas, a more logical order preferred by some users. This important chapter includes coverage of the new AMS radiocarbon chronology for first settlement made possible by extended calibration curves. From the Americas, we move on to Africa and Australia, with Chapter 7, "Intensification and Complexity," now immediately preceding the chapters on the first farmers.

Part III, "First Farmers," describes the origins of food production, with Chapter 8 devoted to the theoretical background and the following five chapters discussing the earliest farming in different areas of the world. New advances in this edition include the increasing impact of refined AMS chronologies and a fresh generation of research into the origins of rice cultivation. Important new perceptions of the Mississippian and other more complex farming societies in eastern North America also receive more extended treatment.

Parts IV and V cover the early civilizations of the Old World and the Americas, with Chapter 14 describing the major theories of the origins and collapse of states. The ferment of theorizing has diminished somewhat in recent years, as fieldworkers wrestle to document their theories with new data from the field. At the same time, a new emphasis on ideology and the archaeology of the intangible is throwing fresh light on preindustrial civilization. There is expanded coverage of the origins of Egyptian civilization, and also of southern and Southeast Asian states. Maya archaeology has been revolutionized in recent years by the decipherment of ancient glyphs and by our new understandings of the turbulent political history of Maya states. We take account of some of these advances here, but, alas, do not have space for extended coverage.

Much of this edition consists of small changes, which come from reading hundreds of books and scientific papers and from discussions with colleagues in all parts of the world. Revision and updating occurs throughout. Individually, the modifications are inconspicuous, but taken together, they represent a considerable change from the ninth edition. The number of illustrations has increased, although one suffers from the inevitable frustration of writing about a visual subject and being restricted by space and budget as to the number of pictures one can include. As in earlier editions, I suggest a brief list of further readings after each chapter and cross-reference the text to an updated Bibliography of World Prehistory for those who wish to delve more closely into topics treated briefly in the book.

As always, the book is designed for easy accessibility and effective learning. People of the Earth is free of distracting features that draw the reader away from the main narrative. High-interest chapter-opening vignettes, which describe a moment of discovery or reconstruct life in the past, grab the student's interest from the outset. Revised chronological tables at the beginning of each chapter, as well as chapter summaries and updated "Guides to Further Reading" at the end of each chapter, also add to the effectiveness of the book as a learning tool.

Other pedagogical features include the following:

  • Special time-line columns at the o1rening of each part of the book. By means of varied shading, each time line tells at a glance which period of time the part covers, as well as which periods have already been covered and are yet to be covered in the text.
  • Expanded picture captions that fill out the visual information.

A NOTE ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB

The World Wide Web is becoming an important medium of communication for archaeologists, like everyone else. This is a confusing universe for those unfamiliar with the Web, especially since so much is changing all the time. However, the major Web sites are here to stay and offer links to other important locations. Everything operates with Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), some of which we list here.

The Virtual Library for archaeology worldwide is ArchNet: ...

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

In This section:

1) Brief Table of Contents

2) Detailed Table of Contents


Brief Table of Contents:

1. Introducing World Prehistory

PART I. BEGINNINGS - 7 Million to 200,000 Years Ago

2. Human Origins: 7 Million to 1.9 Million Years Ago

3. Archaic Humans: Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, and Homo sapiens: 1.9 Million to 150,000 Years Ago

PART II. THE GREAT DIASPORA: THE ORIGINS AND SPREAD OF MODERN HUMANS: c. 200,000 Years Ago to Modern Times

4. Origins and the Diaspora Begins c. 200,000 Years Ago and Later

5. Europe and Eurasia: c. 48,000 Years Ago to 8000 B.C.

6. The First Americans: Around 14000 B.C. to Modern Times

7. After the Ice: Before 10000 B.C. to Modern Times

PART III. FIRST FARMERS: c. 10000 B.C. to Modern Times

8. Agriculture and Animal Domestication

9. The Origins of Food Production in Southwest Asia

10. The First European Farmers

11. First Farmers in Egypt and Tropical Africa

12. Asia and the Pacific: Rice, Roots, and Ocean Voyages

13. The Story of Maize: Early Farmers in the Americas

PART IV. OLD WORLD CIVILIZATIONS: c. 3000 B.C. to Modern Times

14. The Development of Civilization

15. Early Civilizations in Southwest Asia

16. Egypt, Nubia, and Tropical Africa

17. Early States in South and Southeast Asia

18. Early Chinese Civilization

19. Hittites, Minoans, and Mycenaeans

20. Europe Before the Romans

PART V. NATIVE AMERICAN CIVILIZATIONS: Before 2000 B.C. to A.D. 1534

21. Mesoamerican Civilizations

22. Andean Civilizations


Detailed Table of Contents:

1. Introducing World Prehistory

Archaeology and Prehistory

The Beginnings of World Prehistory

Who Needs the Past?

Studying Culture and Culture Change

Primary Cultural Processes

Theoretical Approaches: Culture as Adaptation

Theoretical Approaches: Evolutionary Ecology and Hunter-Gatherers

Theoretical Approaches: People as Agents of Change

PART I. BEGINNINGS - 7 Million to 200,000 Years Ago

2. Human Origins: 7 Million to 1.9 Million Years Ago

The Great Ice Age

The Origins of the Human Line

Molecular Biology and Human Evolution

The Ecological Problems Faced by Early Hominins

Fossil Evidence: 7 to 4 mya

The First Australopithecines: c. 4 to 3 mya

Fossil Evidence: 3 to 2.5 mya

Early Homo: 2.5 to 2.0 mya

Who Was the First Human?

Archaeological Evidence for Early Human Behavior

Plant Foraging and “Grandmothering”

Toolmaking

The Mind of the Earliest Humans

The Development of Language

Social Organization

3. Archaic Humans: Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, and Homo sapiens: 1.9 Million to 150,000 Years Ago

Pleistocene Background

Homo ergaster in Africa

The Radiation of Homo ergaster

Out of Africa: Homo erectus in Asia

Moving to the North: The Settlement of Temperate Latitudes

Archaic Human Technology

Evidence for Behavior: Boxgrove, Schöningen, and Torralba

Language

The Neanderthals

A More Complex Technology

The Origins of Burial and Religious Belief

Neanderthal Speech?

The Denisovans

PART II. THE GREAT DIASPORA: THE ORIGINS AND SPREAD OF MODERN HUMANS: c. 200,000 Years Ago to Modern Times

4. Origins and the Diaspora Begins c. 200,000 Years Ago and Later

Origins

Out of Africa

When did Modern Cognitive Skills appear?

First AMH Settlement in East and Southeast Asia

New Guinea and Adjacent Islands

Australia

African Hunter-Gatherers

5. Europe and Eurasia: c. 48,000 Years Ago to 8000 B.C.

Unsuccessful Colonization

Successful Colonization

The Upper Pleistocene (c. 126,000 Years Ago to 8000 B.C.)

Aurignacians and Their Successors (39,000 years ago to 8000 B.C.)

Settling Eurasia (39,000to 15,000Years Ago)

Siberia (33,000to 13,000Years Ago)

Bifaces, Microblades, and the First Americans

6. The First Americans: Around 14000 B.C. to Modern Times

The First Settlement of the Americas

Ice Sheets and the Bering Land Bridge

The First Settlement of Alaska

Biological and Linguistic Evidence for the First Americans

Settlement Routes: Ice-Free Corridors and Seacoasts

The Paleo-Indians: Clovis and Others

Big-Game Extinctions

Later Hunters and Gatherers

Plains Hunters

The Desert West

Eastern North America

Specialized Foraging Societies in Central and South America

Aleuts and Inuit (Eskimo)

7. After the Ice: Before 10000 B.C. to Modern Times

The Holocene (After 10000 B.C.)

Coping with Environmental Variation

Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherers in Europe

Mesolithic Complexity in Scandinavia

Hunter-Gatherer Complexity

Hunter-Gatherer Societies in Southwest Asia

PART III. FIRST FARMERS: c. 10000 B.C. to Modern Times

8. Agriculture and Animal Domestication

Theories About the Origins of Food Production

Differing Dates for Food Production

Studying Early Food Production

Why Did Food Production Take Hold So Late?

Consequences of Food Production

Nutrition and Early Food Production

Herding: Domestication of Animals

Plant Cultivation

Technology and Domestication

9. The Origins of Food Production in Southwest Asia

Climate Change and Adaptation

The First Farmers

The Zagros and Mesopotamia

Early Farmers in Anatolia

Two Stages of Farming Development

10. The First European Farmers

Mesolithic Prelude

The Transition to Farming in Europe

Farming in Greece and Southern Europe

The Spread of Agriculture into Temperate Europe

Frontiers and Transitions

Social Changes, Lineages, and the Individual

The Introduction of the Plow

Plains Farmers: Tripolye

Mediterranean and Western Europe

The Megaliths

11. First Farmers in Egypt and Tropical Africa

Hunter-Gatherers on the Nile

Agricultural Origins Along the Nile

Saharan Pastoralists

Early Food Production in Sub-Saharan Africa

12. Asia and the Pacific: Rice, Roots, and Ocean Voyages

The Origins of Rice Cultivation

Early Farming in China

Jomon and Early Agriculture in Japan

Early Agriculture in Southeast Asia

Rice and Root Cultivation in Island Southeast Asia

Agriculture in the Pacific Islands

The Lapita Cultural Complex and the Settlement of Melanesia and Western Polynesia

Long-Distance Voyaging in the Pacific

13. The Story of Maize: Early Farmers in the Americas

The First Plant Domestication

Early Food Production in the Andes

Early Farmers in Southwestern North America

Preagricultural and Agricultural Societies in Eastern North America

Moundbuilder Cultures

Human Settlement in the Caribbean

PART IV. OLD WORLD CIVILIZATIONS: c. 3000 B.C. to Modern Times

14. The Development of Civilization

Civilization

Cities

Six Classic Theories of the Emergence of States

Social Theories

Imploding Civilizations

15. Early Civilizations in Southwest Asia

Upland Villages

Settlement of the Lowlands

Uruk: The Mesopotamian City

Sumerian Civilization

Exchange on the Iranian Plateau

The Widening of Political Authority

The Akkadians

Babylon

The Assyrians

16. Egypt, Nubia, and Tropical Africa

The Origins of the Egyptian State

Archaic Egypt and the Creation of the Great Culture (2920 to 2575 B.C.)

The Old Kingdom and the Pyramids (c. 2575 to 2180 B.C.)

The Egyptian State

The First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom (2180 to 1640 B.C.)

The Second Intermediate Period (1640 to 1530 B.C.)

The New Kingdom (1530 to 1070 B.C.)

The Late Period (1070 to 332 B.C.)

Egypt and Africa

Nubia: The Land of Kush

Meroe and Aksum

North Africa

Jenne-jeno and the Rise of West African States

Farmers and Traders in Eastern and Southern Africa

Europe and Africa

17. Early States in South and Southeast Asia

The Roots of South Asian Civilization

Highlands and Lowlands: The Kulli Complex

A Rapid Transition

Mature Harappan Civilization

South Asia After the Harappans

Southeast Asian States

The Angkor State (A.D. 802 to 1430)

18. Early Chinese Civilization

The Origins of Chinese Civilization

Erlitou: Xia and Shang

The Warlords

19. Hittites, Minoans, and Mycenaeans

Early Towns in Anatolia

Balance of Power: The Hittites

The Sea Peoples and the Rise of Israel

The Phoenicians

The Aegean and Greece

The Minoans

The Mycenaeans

Greek City-States After Mycenae

The Etruscans and the Romans

20. Europe Before the Romans

Early Copper Working

Battle Axes and Beakers

The European Bronze Age

Bronze Age Warriors

The Scythians and Other Steppe Peoples

The First Ironworking

The Hallstatt Culture

La Tène Culture

PART V. NATIVE AMERICAN CIVILIZATIONS: Before 2000 B.C. to A.D. 1534

21. Mesoamerican Civilizations

Village Farming

Preclassic Peoples in Mesoamerica

The Rise of Complex Society in Oaxaca

Monte Albán

Teotihuacán

Maya Civilization

The Ninth-Century Collapse

The Toltecs

Aztec Civilization and the Spanish Conquest

22. Andean Civilizations

The Maritime Foundations of Andean Civilization

Coastal Foundations: The Initial Period

Chavín de Huántar

Paracas: Textiles and Coastal Prehistory

Complex Society in the Southern Highlands: Chiripa and Pukara

The Early Intermediate Period

The Moche State

The Middle Horizon: Tiwanaku and Wari

The Late Intermediate Period: Sicán and Chimor

The Late Horizon: The Inca State

Amazonia

The Spanish Conquest (1532 to 1534)

Read More Show Less

Preface

PREFACE:

PREFACE

Golden pharaohs, lost cities, grinning human skeletons—archaeology is the stuff of romance and legend. Many people still think of archaeologists as adventurers and treasure hunters, like Indiana Jones of Hollywood movie fame seeking the elusive Holy Grail. This enduring image goes back to the late nineteenth century, when archaeologists like Heinrich Schliemann of Troy fame could still find lost civilizations and excavate three royal palaces in a week. Today, few, if any, archaeologists behave like Indiana Jones. They are scientists, not adventurers, as comfortable in an air-conditioned laboratory as they are on a remote excavation. The development of scientific archaeology from its Victorian beginnings ranks among the greatest triumphs of twentieth-century science. Archaeology has changed our perceptions of ourselves in profound ways, giving us a better understanding of our biological and cultural diversity. Welcome to the fascinating world of archaeology!

The tenth edition of People of the Earth comes at a time when new discoveries and archaeological methodologies are deeply affecting our understanding of the human past. This edition continues a more-than-25-year tradition of clear, jargon-free writing for the beginning student, the incorporation of the latest scholarship, and an accessible (five-part) organization of the story of world prehistory. This time, I have added both valuable new content and effective new pedagogy to what has always been a straightforward narrative. But the basic objective remains the same: to provide an interesting journey through the 5-million-year-old landscape of the human past. Atthesame time, the book attempts to achieve geographical balance, giving equal time to both well-trodden and less-well-known parts of the world. Any world prehistory that does otherwise is presenting a skewed picture of the human past. People of the Earth is an adventure in archaeology. I hope you enjoy your sojourn in its pages.

Writing a straightforward narrative of human prehistory is a mammoth task, especially at a time when a torrent of new literature about archaeological discoveries around the world is revolutionizing our knowledge of the remote past. We are well beyond the point where a single author can possibly hope to keep up with every new find and intellectual development in world archaeology, but I have done my best, while trying to keep the narrative as simple and uncluttered as possible. The past five years alone have witnessed remarkable discoveries, among them new early fossil hominids from East Africa, major changes in the dating of the first settlement of the Americas and early farming, and a revolution in our knowledge of short-term climatic change in the past.

CHANGES IN THE TENTH EDITION

Our knowledge of world prehistory increases constantly, mostly in fits and starts, but, occasionally in a dramatic way, when new fossil discoveries in Ethiopia rewrite a chapter of early human evolution, or the decipherment of Maya script adds a new dimension to our understanding of an early civilization. For the most part, however, the changes are relatively small and undramatic. The tenth edition reflects a combination of a few major discoveries, like the primordial hominid Australopithecus garhi in East Africa, with numerous less spectacular, but nevertheless important, advances like new data on the origins of rice agriculture in Asia.

Following reviewer suggestions, I have retained the same basic organization of the book for this edition. Chapter 1 introduces world prehistory and discusses new perceptions of the subject derived from new perspectives on the past. We survey alternative perspectives on the past and outline some of the important theoretical frameworks that influence our thinking about prehistory. People of the Earth has always been designed as a straightforward narrative, which is why the book is not written with a specific theoretical perspective. Judging from reviewer and user comments, this is a wise decision, as this allows instructors to add their own biases and viewpoints to the basic narrative material. I have, of course, paid careful attention to such major controversies as the origins of modern humans and the first settlement of the Americas, where an even-handed perspective is essential. The tenth edition now includes Site Boxes in each chapter, which discuss key locations and discoveries where more detailed information is valuable. Examples include the spectacular Grotte de Chauvet cave paintings in France, and the Lords of Sipan from coastal Peru—one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the twentieth century. A series of boxes in the earlier chapters of the book describe key dating methods at appropriate places in the text.

The narrative of world prehistory itself is divided into five parts. Part I (Chapters 2 and 3) discusses human beginnings, what is sometimes called "archaic prehistory," the human past from the earliest times tip to the appearance of Homo sapiens sapiens: ourselves. Here we cover the important new fossil discoveries of recent years and such fascinating sites as Boxgrove in southern England. We also continue to take account of new theoretical advances in cognitive, or "postprocessual," archaeology, especially of the emerging synthesis of evolutionary psychology and archaeology. Part II (Chapters 4 to 7) discusses what I call the "Great Diaspora," the spread of anatomically modern humans through the world during, and immediately after, the late Ice Age. For this edition, I have moved the chapter on the First Americans forward in the book, so that the reader goes from Europe and Eurasia straight into the Americas, a more logical order preferred by some users. This important chapter includes coverage of the new AMS radiocarbon chronology for first settlement made possible by extended calibration curves. From the Americas, we move on to Africa and Australia, with Chapter 7, "Intensification and Complexity," now immediately preceding the chapters on the first farmers.

Part III, "First Farmers," describes the origins of food production, with Chapter 8 devoted to the theoretical background and the following five chapters discussing the earliest farming in different areas of the world. New advances in this edition include the increasing impact of refined AMS chronologies and a fresh generation of research into the origins of rice cultivation. Important new perceptions of the Mississippian and other more complex farming societies in eastern North America also receive more extended treatment.

Parts IV and V cover the early civilizations of the Old World and the Americas, with Chapter 14 describing the major theories of the origins and collapse of states. The ferment of theorizing has diminished somewhat in recent years, as fieldworkers wrestle to document their theories with new data from the field. At the same time, a new emphasis on ideology and the archaeology of the intangible is throwing fresh light on preindustrial civilization. There is expanded coverage of the origins of Egyptian civilization, and also of southern and Southeast Asian states. Maya archaeology has been revolutionized in recent years by the decipherment of ancient glyphs and by our new understandings of the turbulent political history of Maya states. We take account of some of these advances here, but, alas, do not have space for extended coverage.

Much of this edition consists of small changes, which come from reading hundreds of books and scientific papers and from discussions with colleagues in all parts of the world. Revision and updating occurs throughout. Individually, the modifications are inconspicuous, but taken together, they represent a considerable change from the ninth edition. The number of illustrations has increased, although one suffers from the inevitable frustration of writing about a visual subject and being restricted by space and budget as to the number of pictures one can include. As in earlier editions, I suggest a brief list of further readings after each chapter and cross-reference the text to an updated Bibliography of World Prehistory for those who wish to delve more closely into topics treated briefly in the book.

As always, the book is designed for easy accessibility and effective learning. People of the Earth is free of distracting features that draw the reader away from the main narrative. High-interest chapter-opening vignettes, which describe a moment of discovery or reconstruct life in the past, grab the student's interest from the outset. Revised chronological tables at the beginning of each chapter, as well as chapter summaries and updated "Guides to Further Reading" at the end of each chapter, also add to the effectiveness of the book as a learning tool.

Other pedagogical features include the following:

  • Special time-line columns at the o1rening of each part of the book. By means of varied shading, each time line tells at a glance which period of time the part covers, as well as which periods have already been covered and are yet to be covered in the text.
  • Expanded picture captions that fill out the visual information.

A NOTE ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB

The World Wide Web is becoming an important medium of communication for archaeologists, like everyone else. This is a confusing universe for those unfamiliar with the Web, especially since so much is changing all the time. However, the major Web sites are here to stay and offer links to other important locations. Everything operates with Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), some of which we list here.

The Virtual Library for archaeology worldwide is ArchNet: ...

Read More Show Less

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