Prehistory

Prehistory

The Making of the Human Mind

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In Prehistory, the award-winning archaeologist and renowned scholar Colin Renfrew covers human existence before the advent of written records-which is to say, the overwhelming majority of our time here on earth. But Renfrew also opens up to discussion, and even debate, the term prehistory itself, giving an incisive, concise, and lively survey of the past, and how scholars and scientists labor to bring it to light. Renfrew begins by looking at prehistory as a discipline, particularly how developments of the past century and a half-advances in archaeology and geology; Darwin's ideas of evolution; discoveries of artifacts and fossil evidence of our human ancestors; and even more enlightened museum and collection curatorship-have fueled continuous growth in our knowledge of prehistory. He details how breakthroughs such as radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis have helped us to define humankind's past-how things have changed-much more clearly than was possible just a half century ago. Answers for why things have changed, however, continue to elude us, so Renfrew discusses some of the issues and challenges past and present that confront the study of prehistory and its investigators. In the book's second part, Renfrew shifts the narrative focus, offering a summary of human prehistory from early hominids to the rise of literate civilization that is refreshingly free from conventional wisdom and grand unified theories. The author's own case studies encompass a vast geographical and chronological range-the Orkney Islands, the Balkans, the Indus Valley, Peru, Ireland, and China-and help to explain the formation and development of agriculture and centralized societies. He concludes with afascinating chapter on early writing systems, From Prehistory to History. In this invaluable, brief account of human development prior to the last four millennia, Colin Renfrew delivers a meticulously researched and passionately argued chronicle about our life on earth, and our ongoing quest to understand it.
Published: New York : Modern Library, Random House Pub. Group, 2008.
Edition: Modern library ed.
ISBN: 9780679640974
0679640975
Branch Call Number: 930.1 REN
Characteristics: xiii, 219 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number Find Series Titles and Similar Books With Novelist

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at DBRL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top