World Prehistory and Archaeology: Pathways through Time / Edition 1

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World Prehistory and Archaeology: Pathways Through Time, First Edition

By: Michael Chazan

World Prehistory and Archaeology: Pathways Through Time integrates world prehistory with a discussion of archaeological methods and techniques–emphasizing the relevance of how we know what we know about our human prehistory, providing the tools to allow for a lifelong engagement with archaeology, and drawing students into the process of archaeological research and discovery.

Special Features

Toolboxes–special sections found in every chapter–introduce aspects of archaeological methods that are particularly relevant to the material covered in the chapter and are critical to the aim of this book to integrate prehistory with an introduction to archaeological method.

Archaeology in the World boxes in most chapters help students to recognize the significance of issues relating to the role of the past in the present and bring out ethical issues relevant to the archaeology of the periods discussed in the chapter.

Discovering the Past boxes in nearly every chapter showcase people actively involved in archaeological research, including students, who write in a personal voice about a real archaeological project relevant to the chapter.

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“This is clearly written by a scholar with experience.” —Timothy R. Pauketat, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“I was impressed with the geographical breadth in the table of contents. This makes the book quite unique and attractive…The integration of method and interpretation is excellent, and the Toolboxes are terrific. They are well-placed, well-written, and very appropriate and helpful. Students will like them. [The book] doesn’t pull too many punches on the various key debates, which is refreshing.” —Elizabeth Chilton, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

“The overall approach of this book is a very good one, as integrating methods with the study of human prehistory is an excellent way to teach students about how archaeologists do what they do. It would [be] easier to teach World Prehistory with a text like this.” —Barbara Roth, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

“[The text] is well-written and highly accessible, succinct, and balanced…an excellent textbook for world prehistory [that] makes difficult material highly accessible.” —Mark A. Rees, University of Louisiana, Lafayette

“…The consistency of style and structure throughout the text is an obvious strength… even the casual student will obtain a heightened sense of an active past… The excellent use of real cases will attract students….” —Steven R. Simms, Utah State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205406210
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/26/2007
  • Series: MyAnthroKit Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 8.44 (w) x 10.74 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

  • Michael Chazan is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto.
  • He earned his Ph.D. in anthropology at Yale University.
  • Before coming to Toronto, Dr. Chazan was a postdoctoral fellow with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
  • Among his field experience are excavations in New Jersey, France, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and South Africa.
  • Dr. Chazan’s publications include a monograph on the Lower Paleolithic site of Holon, Israel, coauthored with Liora Horwitz.
  • Dr. Chazan is currently engaged in a project on the Earlier Stone Age of South Africa:
    • The project pulls together an international team of researchers to study a series of spectacular sites located in the Northern Cape Province.

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Table of Contents

(Each chapter begins with a Chapter Outline and Learning Objectives and concludes with a Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions, and For Further Reading section.)

Part I. The Past is a Foreign Country: Getting from Here to There

Chapter 1. Getting Started in Archaeology


Survey Design

Geological Factors

Recovery Methods and GIS


Horizontal Excavation

Vertical Excavation

Geological Stratigraphy

Archaeological Sites Form

Archaeological Stratigraphy

Controlling Horizontal and Vertical Space

Recovery Methods

Recording Methods




Counting Bones

Counting Artifacts




Toolbox: Radiocarbon Dating

Toolbox: Ethnoarchaeology

Discovering the Past: Field School: A First Experience in Archaeology by Kristy E. Primeau

Chapter 2. Putting the Picture Together



Organizing Time

The Establishment of Human Antiquity

Imperial Archaeology


Stratigraphic Method and Culture History

V. Gordon Childe


Developing Scientific Methods

The New Archaeology

Systems Theory


Postprocessual Archaeology

Gender and Agency

Evolutionary Archaeology


Toolbox: Thomas Jefferson: The Archaeologist

Archaeology in the World: Religion and Evolution

Discovering the Past: The Socialization Of Ancient Maya Children: Discovery at the Dancer Group Household In Northwestern Belize, Central America by Rissa M. Trachman

Discovering the Past: Different Views of a Site by Peter Robertshaw

Part II. Human Evolution

Chapter 3. Early Hominins

3.1 The Fossil Record

The Early Hominin Radiation




Homo habilis

Homo erectus

3.2 Setting the Scene

The East African Rift Valley

Olduvai Gorge

Lower Paleolithic

The Oldowan

The Acheulian

3.3 The Origin of Tool Use

Tool Use by Animals

The Archaeological Evidence

3.4 Hunting and Sharing Food

Were They Hunters?

Living Floors and Base Camps

The Stone Circle at DK1

Assessing the Archaeological Evidence

The Use of Fire

3.5 The Expansion of the Hominin World

Ubeidiya and Dmanisi

East Asia


Nihewan Basin

Summing Up the Evidence

Toolbox: Paleomagnetic Dating

Toolbox: Argon Dating

Toolbox: Stone Tools

Archaeology in the World: Fraud-- Piltdown and Kama takamori

Chapter 4. From Homo erectus to Neanderthals



The Initial Occupation of Western Europe

The Acheulian Paradox

Beyond Stone Tools


Chronology and Ecology

Stone Tools

François Bordes and Neanderthal Ethnicity

The Binford-Bordes Debate

Dissenting Voices

The Frison Effect

The Chaîne Opératoire

Summing Up the Stones


Stable Isotope Analysis

Site Organization and the Use of Fire

Treatment of the Dead


Neanderthal Society

Toolbox: Oxygen Isotope Curve

Toolbox: Making a Levallois Flake

Toolbox: Micromorphology

Discovering the Past: A Paleo Epiphany by Lynne A. Schepartz

Chapter 5. The Origin of Modern Humans

5.1 What is a Modern Human?

5.2 Early Modern Humans in Africa

The African Middle Stone Age

Stone Tools

Bone Tools



Comparing The Middle Stone Age and the Middle Paleolithic

5.3 Early Modern Humans in the Middle East

The Archaeological Record


Assessing the Middle Eastern Pattern

5.4 The Arrival of Modern Humans in Europe and the Fate of the Neanderthals

The Fossil Record

Genetic Evidence

Archaeological Evidence

The Last Neanderthal

Summing Up the Evidence

5.5 The Upper Paleolithic


Stone and Bone Tools

Human Burials

Art Work

Mobilary Art

Cave Art

Body Ornamentation

Site Structure


5.6 Explaining the Upper Paleolithic

Toolbox: Luminescence Dating Box 5.2 Toolbox: Interpreting Paleolithic Art

Toolbox: Usewear

Discovering the Past: Sibudu Cave: South African MSA Archaeological Field School By Tracy L. Kivell

Chapter 6. The Peopling of Australia and the New World

6.1 Modern Humans in East Asia

6.2 Australia

Dating the Earliest Human Occupation

Megafauna Extinction

Rock Art

6.3 The New World

Clovis First

Clovis Culture and Chronology

Migration Routes

The Archaeological Evidence


Meadocroft Rockshelter

Monte Verde

Caverna de Pedra Pintada

Quebrada Tacahuay

Coastal Migration

Early Arrival Model

The Solutrean Hypothesis

The Skeletal Evidence

Clovis Adaptations and Megafauna Extinction

Toolbox: Why are Folsom Points Fluted?

Toolbox: Radiocarbon Calibration

Archaeology in the World: Repatriation of Indigenous Burial Remains

Part III. Agricultural Beginnings

Chapter 7: Towers, Villages, and Longhouses

7.1 Setting the Scene

7.2 Stage 1: Kebaran and Geometric Kebaran




7.3 Stage 2: The Natufian




7.4 Stage 3: The Early Neolithic






Daily Life


7.5 Stage 4: Late Neolithic


Settlement and Ritual


7.6 Assessing the Neolithic Revolution

7.7 The Spread of Agriculture to Europe

Toolbox: Paleoethnobotany

Toolbox: Harris Matrix

Discovering the Past: The Iceman

Chapter 8 Mounds and Maize

8.1 Plant Domestication in Central America

8.2 Maize Agriculture in the American Southwest

The Formative Period

Summing Up the Evidence

8.3 Eastern North America

The Indigenous Domestication of Plants

The Adena and Hopewell

Intensification of Maize Agriculture

The People Behind the Transition

Summing Up the Evidence

Toolbox: AMS Radiocarbon Dating

Toolbox: Handbuilt Pottery

Toolbox: Isotope Analysis and Maize Agriculture

Discovering the Past: “Towns they have none:” In Search of New England’s Mobile Farmers by Elizabeth S. Chilton

Chapter 9: A Feast of Diversity

9.1 Africa

Villages of Hunter-Gatherers


The First Farmers

Summing Up the Evidence

9.2 New Guinea

Clearing Forests and Draining Swamps

9.3 The Andes

Domestication in the Andean Highlands

Coastal Villages

The Cotton Preceramic

The Role of El Nino

Summing Up the Evidence

9.4 East Asia

Early Pottery

The First Farmers

The Development of Farming Societies

Summing Up the Evidence

9.5 Questioning the Neolithic

Discovering the Past: Researching the Origins of Agriculture in West Africa by Augustin F.C. Holl

Toolbox: Pollen, Phytoliths, and Starch Grains

Toolbox: Residue Analysis

Part IV: The Development of Social Complexity

Chapter 10: Complexity without the State

10.1 Stonehenge

The Development of Stonehenge

Phase 1–The Earthwork Circle

Phase 2–Burials and a Timber Structure

Phase 3–Stone Monument

Phase 3a-- The Bluestones

Phase 3b-- Sarsen Circle and Trilithons.

Phase 3c-f-- Rearranging bluestones and digging holes.

A Constructed Landscape

The Context of Stonehenge

What Did Stonehenge Mean?

Summing Up the Evidence

10.2 Pueblo Bonito, ChacoCanyon

The Development of Pueblo Bonito

The Function of Pueblo Bonito

Evidence for Elites

The Chaco Network

The Rise and Fall of Chaco Canyon

Summing Up the Evidence

10.3 Cahoka

The Layout of the Site

Evidence for Inequality


Summing Up the Evidence

10.4 Great Zimbabwe

The Layout of the Site

The Function of the Enclosures

The Organization of Great Zimbabwe Society

Summing Up the Evidence

10.5 Comparative Perspectives

Discovering the Past: Why Do I “Do” Archaeology? by Joseph Watkins

Toolbox: Remote Sensing

Toolbox: Dendrochronology

Discovering the Past: Chavin de Huantar by John Rick

Chapter 11: The Urban State

11.1 Mesopotamia

The Physical Setting




Surplus and Specialization


The Development of Writing

Warfare and Expansion

Summing Up the Evidence

11.2 The Maya


The Setting

The City



Maya Hieroglyphics

Ritual, Violence, Warfare

The Maya Collapse

Summing Up the Evidence

11.3 Shang China

11.4 The Urban State

Toolbox: Deciphering the Maya Hieroglyphs

Toolbox: Geophysical Methods

Archaeology in the World: The Fate of Iraq’s Antiquities

Discovering the Past: Rio Azul and the Classic Mayaby Fred Valdez

Discovering the Past: Ancient Maya and the Medicinal Trail Site by David Hyde

Chapter 12: Enigmatic States

12.1 Egypt

The Setting


Government and Writing

The Pyramids

The Development of Mortuary Architecture

Hierakonpolis and Abydos

Saqarra and Daschur


The Pyramids and the State

The City


Summing Up the Evidence

12.2 The IndusValley

The Setting and Chronology

The City



Summing Up the Evidence

12.3 Jenne Jenno

Toolbox: Excavating Giza

Toolbox: Tracking Trade Routes

Archaeology in the World: The Trade in African Antiquities

Chapter 13: Empires

13.1 The Inca Empire

Before the Inca

The History of the Inca

Inca Society

Building Empire




Summing Up the Evidence

13.2 The Aztec Empire

Before the Aztecs

The History of the Aztecs

Aztec Economy

Ritual and Human Sacrifice

Summing Up the Evidence

13.3 Beyond Empires

Discovering the Past: Excavating the Land of the Lines by Lindsey Stoker

Toolbox: Tuberculosis in the Americas

Toolbox: Metallurgy

Epilogue: Bringing it Home

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