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Smithsonian Timelines of the Ancient World

Smithsonian Timelines of the Ancient World

by Christopher Scarre, Smithsonian Institution (Other)
Illustrated with artifacts, and broken into four categories of study, for each of five global regions.
-- An ALA Outstanding Reference Sources selection.


Illustrated with artifacts, and broken into four categories of study, for each of five global regions.
-- An ALA Outstanding Reference Sources selection.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This engaging illustrated chronology of human and natural history from the beginning of life on earth to A.D. 1500 combines the intellectual and material resources of the Smithsonian Institution with the strong graphics of the publisher. The large-format volume presents its content uniformly in grid fashion in four parts comprising 18 chapters. The illustrations are impressive, numbering 1400 photos and 400 maps, all in color. Chapters display their information under four horizontal headings: food/environment, shelter, technology, and art in a two-page spread; geographic areas (continents) are given in vertical columns. Each chapter opens with a brief narrative and appropriate illustrations of the topic and offers a special feature (e.g., Neanderthals, origin of food production, Olmecs, art of Classical Greece). Timelines invites comparison with Past Worlds: The Times Atlas of Archaeology (Hammond, 1988). The two present much of the same information, but Timelines 's success lies in its at-a-glance visual presentation of past eras and major geographic regions. The editor-in-chief is a noted Cambridge scholar. Recommended for school and most public libraries.-- Harry E. Whitmore, formerly with Univ. of Maine, Augusta
Zom Zoms
More than 1,800 full-color illustrations illuminate this oversize chronology spanning the period from prehistory to the time of Columbus. It enables readers to see at a glance what events have taken place in different parts of the world during a specific time period. Scholars from the Smithsonian Institution were contributors and reviewers of the work; hence, the title The aim of "Smithsonian Timelines" is to present the human story from earliest times to 1500 A.D. This timespan is divided into 18 chapters, each with a series of maps, large-scale time charts, and special-feature pages Each chapter begins with an introduction that highlights important aspects of the period. Maps of five regions of the globe emphasize a special topic for that period, such as irrigation canals in the Americas or incense trade in the Middle East. The time charts are divided into the same five regions: the Americas, East Asia and Australasia, the Middle East and South Asia, Europe, and Africa, each color coded for easy identification. The five regions are examined under four themes: "Food and Environment," "Shelter and Architecture," "Technology and Innovation," and "Art and Ritual." Following the time charts, two-page features explore topics that reflect a region, culture, issue, or theme, for example, "Urban Life in Ephesus" or "Pueblo Villages." In addition to photographs are drawings in which artists have reconstructed buildings and sites of the featured time period, with the assistance of archaeological evidence. A subject index brings together topics found on several time charts (e.g., "animals in art") This beautiful reference book offers both children and adults an opportunity to travel back in time and follow the course of human achievement in various regions of the world. It should be a part of reference sections in every public library and all school libraries (elementary through high school) to browse or use as a research tool. Academic libraries should consider purchase, too.
A big book (8.75x14.5"). Introductions to the chronologically arranged chapters summarize highlights of the era under study and present maps and key dates. The body of each chapter consists of a timeline laid out so that comparisons can be made among the continents in the areas of food and environment, shelter and architecture, technology and innovation, and art and ritual. Color photos of objects (many from the Smithsonian) illustrate about three out of four items of information (ten items to a page), making this a visual work indeed. Certainly this reference has been put together with considerable effort and expertise--quantities of information and illustrations, carefully designed and packaged. But the broad, all- inclusive scope and the lack of a thesis or point of view make this team effort seem an exercise in design, rather than a truly interesting reference. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

DK Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st American ed
Product dimensions:
10.83(w) x 14.51(h) x 0.96(d)

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