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The Human Past

World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies

Chris Scarre


A thoroughly revised and re-designed edition of the acclaimed textbook that presents an accessible and up-to-date account of what we know today about the origins and development of human society

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The Human Past offers authoritative and up-to-date coverage of prehistory. Thoroughly revised and re-designed, this new edition combines expert writing with a clear, student-friendly approach.

• Newly designed timelines, maps and 50% more colour images enhance understanding.

• Streamlined chapters clarify key concepts and improve the narrative.

• A new chapter, ‘The Origins, Antiquity, and Dispersal of the First Americans’ by David J. Meltzer, increases coverage of the Americas.

• New ‘Key Theme’ boxes link chapters through common issues in human history, focusing on climate change, domestication, migration, social inequality and urbanism.

• Updated scholarship gives readers a contemporary perspective: this edition includes new genetic evidence revealing the arrival of the Yamnaya people in Europe and new theories on the relationship between sedentism and agriculture.

• Instructor and student resources are available, including a test bank, student quizzes, chapter summaries and PowerPoint art slides.

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'Exciting, accessible and informative … by far the best introduction available'
Cyprian Broodbank, Head of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

'Absolutely essential reading for all students of archaeology'
Barry Cunliffe, University of Oxford

'One of the best overviews of world prehistory it is possible to get. Excellent coverage, up to date and accessible'
Tim Reynolds, Birkbeck, University of London

'The perfect textbook … this is the kind of book we wish we’d had'
How It Works

'The go-to primer text for world prehistory'
The Archaeological Journal

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: Fourth edition

Size: 27.6 x 21.5 cm

Extent: 768 pp

Publication date: 1 February 2018

ISBN: 9780500294208

About the Author

Dr Chris Scarre is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Durham. He is the author of many books on prehistory and archaeology, including The Megalithic Monuments of Britain and Ireland, Chronicle of the Roman Emperors and The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World, all published by Thames & Hudson.

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