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Book Cover
Author Wenke, Robert J.

Title Patterns in prehistory : humankind's first three million years / Robert J. Wenke
Edition Fourth edition
Published New York : Oxford University Press, 1996


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Description pages cm
Contents 1. Prehistory, History, and Archaeology -- 2. Fundamentals of Archaeology -- 3. The Origins of Culture -- 4. The Origins of Homo Sapiens Sapiens -- 5. The First Americans -- 6. The Origins of Agriculture -- 7. The Evolution of Complex Societies -- 8. The Origins of Complex Societies in Southwest Asia -- 9. The Origins of Complex Societies in Egypt -- 10. The Evolution of Complex Societies in the Indus Valley -- 11. The Evolution of Complex Societies in China -- 12. Later States and Empires of the Old World -- 13. The Evolution of Complex Societies in Mesoamerica -- 14. The Evolution of Complex Societies in Andean South America -- 15. Early Cultural Complexity in North America -- 16. Prehistory in Perspective
Summary Thoroughly revised and updated, this fourth edition incorporates the most recent archaeological discoveries and addresses the insights and limitations of the new wave of "post-processual" or "cognitive" archaeology
Patterns in Prehistory takes an in-depth look at humankind's first three million years. From the origins of early hominids several million years ago to the evolution of the first great states and civilizations, this comprehensive survey of world prehistory also confronts important philosophical issues about the study of the past. The author reflects on the archaeological methods and theories of the 1960s and 70s while reviewing the methodological revisions of the 80s and 90s, relating the archaeological data from hundreds of sites to the great questions of prehistorical change. He focuses on the four great transformations in the history of our genus: the evolution of "culture" itself; the first appearance of "us," Homo Sapiens; the evolution of agriculture; and the first appearances of cultural and social "complexity" in the form of the great civilizations of antiquity
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Archaeology.
Prehistoric peoples.
LC no. 95043456
ISBN 0195085728 (alk. paper)