Prehistory: A Very Short Introduction
by Chris Gosden
Editor: Oxford University Press
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Prehistory covers the period of nearly 4 million years before the beginning of written history, when our first ancestors, the Australopithecus, there existed in AfricaBut this is relatively recent in relation to the earth’s entire history of some 4.5 billion years.A key aspect of prehistory is that it provides a sense of scale, throwing recent lifestyles into perspectiveHumans and their ancestors lived in many different ways and the cultural diversity we see now is just a tiny fraction of what has existed for millions of yearsHuman beings are part of the larger evolution of landscapes and communities of plants and animals, but Homo sapiens is also the only species to have a real impact on planetary systems.To understand such an impact, we need an understanding of our longer term development and lifestyles.In this new edition of his Very Short Introduction, Chris Gosden invites us to reflect seriously on the question of who we are by considering who we have beenAs he explains, many new discoveries have been made in archaeology over the past ten years, and a new framework for prehistory is emergingA better understanding of Chinese and Central Asia, of prehistory threw Eurasia from prehistory, into a different light, with flows of cultural influence over large areas now evidentThis ate the traditional view of human progress around the invention of agriculture, the development of cities, and (much later) the industrial revolution, and gave us new geographical areas to think aboutChris Gosden explores the new landscape of prehistory and considers how different geographical locations weave togetherABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Presentations in the Oxford University Press series contains hundreds of titles in almost every fieldThese paperback books are the ideal way to get in advance into a new topic quicklyOur experts and authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas and enthusiasm to make it interesting and challenging topics hig
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