"This handsome and well-produced volume is densly written but very important to consider." Journal of Anthropological Research
"...those interested in urbanism will gain from Fletcher's perspectives." Choice
"...this book is important; it is Big Picture archaeology at its best and a provocative and stimulating proposal worthy of consideration." John E. Robb, American Anthropologist
"...it's not just for archaeologists: anyone interested in cities should read it. ...It's a great, useful, hopeful book. Useful for scholarship, hopeful for planning." --H-Net Review
In this study Roland Fletcher argues that the built environment becomes a constraint on long-term settlement development. He reviews worldwide settlement growth over the past 15,000 years in the light of the limits imposed by buildings, layouts and forms of communication, and concludes with a major discussion of the great transformations of human settlements -- from mobile to sedentary, sedentary to urban, and urban to industrial. This ambitious contribution to archaeological theory has implications for the future of urban settlement.