Why does archaeology matter? How does studying prehistory help us understand climate change? How can archaeological discoveries challenge contemporary assumptions about gender? How has archaeology been used and misused to support political and nationalist agendas – and how can it help build a more diverse and inclusive picture of our world by examining the people left out of written history?
Brian Fagan and Nadia Durrani address these and other questions, exploring how archaeology's long-term perspective offers unique views into the most challenging issues facing the world today. With examples from around the globe – including a female Viking burial in Sweden, controversies over the discovery of the Kingdom of Mapungubwe in Southern Africa, and newly discovered ancient farming techniques in South America – Bigger Than History explores how the search for the past continues to inform our understanding of the present.
'This book links the seemingly remote world of archaeology with the present day. Indeed, the stories of entire groups of people omitted from written texts can be told through the evidence beneath our feet. There are challenges, too, and the authors compellingly sketch some of the biggest risks faced by the discipline'
BBC History Magazine
'Offers a window onto this subject for a readership beyond archaeologists that will help to clarify the discipline’s broader relevance. This is surely a book that everyone should read'