PREHISTORY A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION

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Prehistory

Author : Chris Gosden
ISBN : 9780198803515
Genre : History
File Size : 82.57 MB
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Prehistory covers the period of some 4 million years before the start of written history, when our earliest ancestors, the Australopithecines, existed in Africa. But this is relatively recent compared to whole history of the earth of some 4.5 billion years. A key aspect of prehistory is that it provides a sense of scale, throwing recent ways of life into perspective. Humans and their ancestors lived in many different ways and the cultural variety we see now is just a tiny fraction of that which has existed over millions of years. Humans are part of the broader evolution of landscapes and communities of plants and animals, but Homo sapiens is also the only species to have made a real impact on planetary systems. To understand such an impact, we need a grasp of our longest term development and ways of life. In this new edition of his Very Short Introduction, Chris Gosden invites us to think seriously about who we are by considering who we have been. As he explains, many new discoveries have been made in archaeology over the last ten years, and a new framework for prehistory is emerging. A greater understanding of Chinese and central Asian prehistory has thrown Eurasian prehistory in quite a different light, with flows of the influence of culture over large areas now evident. This has eaten away at the traditional view of human progress around the invention of agriculture, the development of cities, and (much later) the industrial revolution, and has given us new geographies to think about. Chris Gosden explores the new landscape of our prehistory and considers the way the different geographical locations weave together. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Prehistory A Very Short Introduction

Author : Chris Gosden
ISBN : 9780192525291
Genre : History
File Size : 31.54 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
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Prehistory covers the period of some 4 million years before the start of written history, when our earliest ancestors, the Australopithecines, existed in Africa. But this is relatively recent compared to whole history of the earth of some 4.5 billion years. A key aspect of prehistory is that it provides a sense of scale, throwing recent ways of life into perspective. Humans and their ancestors lived in many different ways and the cultural variety we see now is just a tiny fraction of that which has existed over millions of years. Humans are part of the broader evolution of landscapes and communities of plants and animals, but Homo sapiens is also the only species to have made a real impact on planetary systems. To understand such an impact, we need a grasp of our longest term development and ways of life. In this new edition of his Very Short Introduction, Chris Gosden invites us to think seriously about who we are by considering who we have been. As he explains, many new discoveries have been made in archaeology over the last ten years, and a new framework for prehistory is emerging. A greater understanding of Chinese and central Asian prehistory has thrown Eurasian prehistory in quite a different light, with flows of the influence of culture over large areas now evident. This has eaten away at the traditional view of human progress around the invention of agriculture, the development of cities and (much later) the industrial revolution, and given us new geographies to think about. Chris Gosden explores the new landscape of our prehistory, and considers the way the different geographical locations weave together. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Fossils A Very Short Introduction

Author : Keith Thomson
ISBN : 9780191578021
Genre : Nature
File Size : 45.56 MB
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Fossils have been vital to our understanding of the formation of the earth and the origins of all life on it. However, their impact has not been limited to debates about geology and evolution: attempts to explain their existence has shaken religion at its very roots, and they have remained a subject of ceaseless fascination for people of all ages and backgrounds. In this delightful book, Keith Thomson provides a remarkably all-encompassing explanation of fossils as a phenomenon. How did Darwin use fossils to support his theory of evolution? What are 'living fossils'? What fossils will we leave behind for future generations to examine? Building on the scientific aspects, he places fossils in a very human context, highlighting their impact on philosophy and mythology, our concept of time, and today's popular culture. What quickly becomes obvious is that the discovery of fossils and the ways in which they have been interpreted over time makes for fascinating reading. From the black market to the Piltdown Man, and from mythological dragons to living dinosaurs, fossils hold a permanent place in the popular imagination. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Nature

Patterns In Prehistory

Author : Robert J. Wenke
ISBN : 0195085728
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 77.94 MB
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Patterns in Prehistory takes an in-depth look at humankind's first three million years. From the origins of early hominids several million years ago to the evolution of the first great states and civilizations, this comprehensive survey of world prehistory also confronts important philosophical issues about the study of the past. The author reflects on the archaeological methods and theories of the 1960s and 70s while reviewing the methodological revisions of the 80s and 90s, relating the archaeological data from hundreds of sites to the great questions of prehistorical change. He focuses on the four great transformations in the history of our genus: the evolution of "culture" itself; the first appearance of "us," Homo Sapiens; the evolution of agriculture; and the first appearances of cultural and social "complexity" in the form of the great civilizations of antiquity. Thoroughly revised and updated, this fourth edition incorporates the most recent archaeological discoveries and addresses the insights and limitations of the new wave of "post-processual" or "cognitive" archaeology.
Category: Social Science

Time In History

Author : G. J. Whitrow
ISBN : 0192852116
Genre : Science
File Size : 84.80 MB
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Discusses how time was considered and measured in ancient and medieval times, profiles the development of more accurate timepieces, and shows the changes that occured as the new developments spread
Category: Science

Archaeology A Very Short Introduction

Author : Paul Bahn
ISBN : 9780191642333
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 39.70 MB
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This entertaining Very Short Introduction reflects the enduring popularity of archaeology - a subject which appeals as a pastime, career, and academic discipline, encompasses the whole globe, and surveys 2.5 million years. From deserts to jungles, from deep caves to mountain tops, from pebble tools to satellite photographs, from excavation to abstract theory, archaeology interacts with nearly every other discipline in its attempts to reconstruct the past. In this new edition, Paul Bahn brings the text up to date, including information about new discoveries and interpretations in the field, and highlighting the impact of developments such as the potential use of DNA and stable isotopes in teeth, as well the effect technology and science are having on archaeological exploration. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Social Science

On The Ocean

Author : Sir Barry Cunliffe
ISBN : 9780191075346
Genre : History
File Size : 55.54 MB
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For humans the sea is, and always has been, an alien environment. Ever moving and ever changing in mood, it is a place without time, in contrast to the land which is fixed and scarred by human activity giving it a visible history. While the land is familiar, even reassuring, the sea is unknown and threatening. By taking to the sea humans put themselves at its mercy. It has often been perceived to be an alien power teasing and cajoling. The sea may give but it takes. Why, then, did humans become seafarers? Part of the answer is that we are conditioned by our genetics to be acquisitive animals: we like to acquire rare materials and we are eager for esoteric knowledge, and society rewards us well for both. Looking out to sea most will be curious as to what is out there - a mysterious island perhaps but what lies beyond? Our innate inquisitiveness drives us to explore. Barry Cunliffe looks at the development of seafaring on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, two contrasting seas — the Mediterranean without a significant tide, enclosed and soon to become familiar, the Atlantic with its frightening tidal ranges, an ocean without end. We begin with the Middle Palaeolithic hunter gatherers in the eastern Mediterranean building simple vessels to make their remarkable crossing to Crete and we end in the early years of the sixteenth century with sailors from Spain, Portugal and England establishing the limits of the ocean from Labrador to Patagonia. The message is that the contest between humans and the sea has been a driving force, perhaps the driving force, in human history.
Category: History

Ancient Lives

Author : Dr. Brian Fagan
ISBN : 9781317281955
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 84.85 MB
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Focusing on sites of key significance and the world’s first civilizations, Ancient Lives is an accessible and engaging textbook which introduces complete beginners to the fascinating worlds of archaeology and prehistory. Drawing on their impressive combined experience of the field and the classroom, the authors use a jargon-free narrative style to enliven the major developments of more than three million years of human life. First introducing the basic principles, methods and theoretical approaches of archaeology, the book then provides a summary of world prehistory from a global perspective, exploring human origins and the reality of life in the archaic world. Later chapters describe the development of agriculture and animal domestication and the emergence of cities, states, and pre-industrial civilizations in widely separated parts of the world. With this new edition updated to reflect the latest discoveries and research in the discipline, Ancient Lives continues to be a comprehensive and essential introduction to archaeology.
Category: Social Science

The Celts A Very Short Introduction

Author : Barry Cunliffe
ISBN : 9780191577871
Genre : History
File Size : 37.23 MB
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Savage and bloodthirsty, or civilized and peaceable? The Celts have long been a subject of enormous fascination, speculation, and misunderstanding. From the ancient Romans to the present day, their real nature has been obscured by a tangled web of preconceived ideas and stereotypes. Barry Cunliffe seeks to reveal this fascinating people for the first time, using an impressive range of evidence, and exploring subjects such as trade, migration, and the evolution of Celtic traditions. Along the way, he exposes the way in which society's needs have shaped our visions of the Celts, and examines such colourful characters as St Patrick, Cú Chulainn, and Boudica. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

The History Of Time A Very Short Introduction

Author : Leofranc Holford-Strevens
ISBN : 9780191578007
Genre : History
File Size : 39.90 MB
Format : PDF
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Why do we measure time in the way that we do? Why is a week seven days long? At what point did minutes and seconds come into being? Why are some calendars lunar and some solar? The organisation of time into hours, days, months and years seems immutable and universal, but is actually far more artificial than most people realise. The French Revolution resulted in a restructuring of the French calendar, and the Soviet Union experimented with five and then six-day weeks. Leofranc Holford-Strevens explores these questions using a range of fascinating examples from Ancient Rome and Julius Caesar's imposition of the Leap Year, to the 1920s' project for a fixed Easter. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History