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The Prehistory of Home [Kindle Edition]

Jerry D. Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Many animals build shelters, but only humans build homes. No other species creates such a variety of dwellings. Drawing examples from across the archaeological record and around the world, archaeologist Jerry D. Moore recounts the cultural development of the uniquely human imperative to maintain domestic dwellings. He shows how our houses allow us to physically adapt to the environment and conceptually order the cosmos, and explains how we fabricate dwellings and, in the process, construct our lives. The Prehistory of Home points out how houses function as symbols of equality or proclaim the social divides between people, and how they shield us not only from the elements, but increasingly from inchoate fear.

Editorial Reviews


[The Prehistory of Home is]  "Moore's engaging history of the home... Part archaeological survey dating before humans were Human, and part speculative treatise as to why humans have an emotional need for homes at all, Moore's book spans hundreds of thousands of years and nearly every continent."
Geoff Manaugh, BLDGBLOG

"Using archaeological records and personal experience, Moore crafts a study of the home that is equally scholarly and entertaining. ...the author employs wit and plenty of research to offer up a wonderfully thought-provoking exploration of how our most intimate edifices are intertwined with human nature."  Publisher's Weekly June 18, 2012

"The book is [Moore's] attempt, and a brilliant one, 'to engage the reader with an archaeology of human experience by connecting events and sites that are ancient and distant to lives and places that are current and near.'" William L. Fox,

According to archeologist Jerry Moore, man has not only sought protection in his dwellings, he imbued them with cosmic significance. ...Careful excavations of these dwellings reveal a wealth of interpretations explored by Moore in this illustrated, well-documented text.

Zara Raab, San Francisco Book Review, October 12, 2012

"The Prehistory of Home is an exquisite and fascinating look into the rich diversity of different settlements across culture, place, and time. of my top choices for 2012, and it will proudly join the bookshelf alongside the most thought-provoking and influential books I have read to-date. " Erick Villagomez, Editor-in-chief at Spacing Vancouver

“A captivating, thought-provoking treatise.”
(Journal Middle Atlantic Archaeology 2012-10-11)

“Crafts a study of the home that is equally scholarly and entertaining. . . . The author employs wit and plenty of research to offer up a wonderfully thought-provoking exploration of how our most intimate edifices are intertwined with human nature.”
(Publishers Weekly: Nonfiction (2) 2012-06-18)

From the Inside Flap

"The Prehistory of Home addresses a topic of widely shared interest, and provides easy-to-understand evidence and well-argued interpretations. Jerry Moore is deft with words, phrasing, and building arguments, shifting effortlessly between antiquity and today while keeping the themes of home and prehistory clear. Alongside the rigorous archaeological and scientific research, Moore's wit and personality shine throughout."—Wendy Ashmore, coauthor of Household and Community in the Mesoamerican Past

Product Details

  • File Size: 1783 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0520272218
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (March 16, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007JAPF5E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891,034 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deconstructing the home June 23, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In this thoroughly researched and engaging book, author and archaeologist Jerry Moore deepens our understanding of what it means to be human through careful analysis of human habitations throughout time. Moore holds up to the light the long-held belief that humankind's shift from hunter-gatherers to farmers created the need to stay in one place and postulates that humans developed settlements because they needed a place to store their "stuff."

A great read, not only as an outstanding contribution to the field of anthropology but also a clear example of an outstanding writer's ability to engage the reader.
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More About the Author

Jerry Moore is an archaeologist, writer, and professor of anthropology at California State University Dominguez Hill. Moore has conducted archaeological research in Peru, Mexico, and southern California.
Moore's principal expertise is on the prehistoric architecture and cultural landscapes in the Andes. He has written four books, "Architecture and Power in the Prehispanic Andes: The Archaeology of Public Buildings" (1996 Cambridge University Press), "Cultural Landscapes in the Prehispanic Andes: Archaeologies of Place" (2005 University Press of Florida), "The Prehistory of Home" (2012, University of California Press)--selected for the 2014 Society for American Archaeology Book Award--and "A Prehistory of South America: Ancient Cultural Diversity on the Least-Known Continent" (2014, University Press of Colorado).
Moore is the co-editor with Donald Laylander of "The Prehistory of Baja California: Advances in the Archaeology of the Forgotten Peninsula" (2006 University Press of Florida) which was chosen as a 2007 Choice Distinguished Book. Also, Moore has written one of the leading textbooks on anthropological theory, "Visions of Culture: An Introduction to Anthropological Theories and Theorists" (2012, Altamira) and he edited a companion collection of primary materials, "Visions of Culture: An Annotated Reader" (2009). Moore's writings have been translated into Spanish, French, Han Chinese, and Croatian. Moore was also the editor of "Ñawpa Pacha: Journal of Andean Archaeology", from 2011-2014.
Moore has been a Fellow in Precolumbian Studies at Harvard's Dumbarton Oaks Research Libraries and Collections in Washington D.C. (1992-93), a senior scholar at the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia (1994), a Fellow at the Getty Research Institute (2001-2002), and a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Durham University, UK (2013).
Moore is currently working on a forthcoming book, "Incidence of Travel: Recent Journeys in Ancient Worlds" (University Press of Colorado).


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