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The Making of the Middle Sea

A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World

Cyprian Broodbank

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The first full, interpretive synthesis for a generation on the rise of the Mediterranean world from its very beginnings up to the threshold of Classical times - winner of the Wolfson History Prize 2014


World-class interpretations exist of the Mediterranean's Classical and subsequent history, but there has been remarkably little holistic exploration of how its societies, culture and economies first came into being, despite the fact that almost all the fundamental developments originated well before 500 BC. Mediterranean archaeology is one of the world’s richest sources for the reconstruction of ancient societies, yet this book is the first to draw in equal measure on ideas and information from the European, western Asian and African flanks, as well as the islands at the Mediterranean’s heart, to achieve a truly innovative focus on the varied trajectories and interactions that created this maritime world.

The Making of the Middle Sea is extensively illustrated and ranges across disciplines, subject matter and chronology from early humans and the origins of farming and metallurgy to the rise of civilizations – Egyptian, Levantine, Minoan, Mycenaean, Phoenician, Etruscan, early Greek and ultimately pan-Mediterranean.

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'A fascinating story, beautifully told … the breadth of [Broodbrank’s] scholarship, his lively curiosity and insights, and his analysis of vast amounts of data, add up to a stunningly original tour de force … It’s what scholarship ought to look like'
Classics for All

'A major intellectual feat … sets new standards in scholarship, coherence and readability'
Colin Renfrew, The Times Literary Supplement

'An almighty achievement … wonderfully elegant prose … fascinating, intelligent and well-written but also provocative and challenging'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 24.6 x 18.6 cm

Extent: 672 pp

Illustrations: 387

Publication date: 31 August 2015

ISBN: 9780500292082

Contents List

One: A Barbarian History • Two: Provocative Places • Three: The Speciating Sea (1.8 million – 50,000 years ago) • Four: A Cold Coming We Had of It (50,000 years ago – 10,000 bc) • Five: Brave New Worlds (10,000 –5500 bc) • Six: How It Might Have Been (5500 – 3500 bc) • Seven: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (3500 – 2200 bc) • Eight: Pomp and Circumstance (2200 – 1300 bc) • Nine: From Sea to Shining Sea (1300 – 800 bc) • Ten: The End of the Beginning (800 – 500 bc) • Eleven: De Profundis

About the Author

Cyprian Broodbank is Professor of Mediterranean Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. His previous book, An Island Archaeology of the Early Cyclades, won the James R. Wiseman award of the Archaeological Institute of America (for all fields of archaeology), and the Runciman Prize (for all fields of Hellenic Studies).