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The Human Past: World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies (Second Edition) [Paperback]

Chris Scarre
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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The Human Past: World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies (Third Edition) The Human Past: World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies (Third Edition) 4.3 out of 5 stars (3)
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Book Description

June 29, 2009 0500287813 978-0500287811 Second Edition

The Human Past has established itself as the most authoritative introduction to social, cultural, and economic developments in human prehistory.

Using a regional and chronological framework, this groundbreaking book highlights the enormous diversity of human experience and the ways in which archaeologists are able to learn about it.

Professor Chris Scarre has seamlessly integrated the work of an international team of archaeologists from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The result is a unique textbook that engagingly and comprehensively embraces the entire expanse of human prehistory while also offering the most up-to-date accounts of separate regions and periods by the leading specialists in these areas. There are hundreds of maps, diagrams, and photographs, many in full color, as well as timelines and boxes on key sites, methods, discoveries, and controversies.

For the second edition, the text has been thoroughly updated to include recent discoveries and new interpretations from around the world. The coverage of archaeology in the Middle East is expanded to include the Jiroft excavations in Iran and the Late Bronze Age in Qatna, Syria. The Americas section includes new dates for Clovis sites and new information on Kennewick man. There is also a new discussion on the link between climate change in Mesoamerica and the many historical changes: the Classic Maya collapse, in particular. 770 illustrations, 219 in color

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chris Scarre is Professor of Archaeology at Durham University. He is a specialist in European prehistory with a related interest in the ancient Near East and the Classical world of Greece and Rome. He was editor and principal author of Past Worlds: The Times Atlas of Archaeology (1995); more recently he co-authored Ancient Civilizations (with Brian Fagan, 3rd ed., 2007). He has directed and co-directed excavations at prehistoric sites in France, Portugal, and the Channel Islands, most recently exploring the prehistoric monuments of Herm (Guernsey). His current research interests include the study of archaeoacoustics and the color, origin, and symbolic significance of materials in the Neolithic monuments of Western Europe.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Second Edition edition (June 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500287813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500287811
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great synthesis! July 18, 2009
The Human Past is an indispensable guide to world prehistory & introductory archaeological methods. It is an edited volume with each chapter written by one or two experts focusing on a particular region/time period. The result is that each individual chapter is a stand-alone synthetic treatment of, for example, the prehistory/archaeology of Holocene Europe or South Asia. Equal treatment seems to be given to both New and Old World developments, a quality many other World Prehistory Textbooks lack!

The timelines & maps in each chapter allow a comparative perspective both geographically and temporally. It is visually pleasing, logically laid out, and relatively inexpensive as far as introductory textbooks go. In my opinion, this book has a place on any Anthropology undergraduate or graduate student's bookshelf!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wordy, but good enough February 26, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this book for a class on World Archaeology. As an anthropologist I was intrigued by it, but there was way too much fluff. Could definitely have been condensed and edited better.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Human Past September 18, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great prehistory textbook for Universities! Are you a fan of being a sapien? This book could clue you in to your past, and the hominid evolutionary timeline and much more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery, mystery October 2, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Deciphering the human history is intriguing. What does that mean? What were they trying to say? Where did they go? Interesting dialogue on subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No complaints August 4, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first half of the book (covering up to about 50000BC) reads like a dictionary of archaeological sites, which makes it frustrating to read. However, the author(s) are so thorough that I can't imagine there is much on the topic of Anthropology that you couldn't find in this book.
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