Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind

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Modern Library, 2009 - History - 219 pages
15 Reviews
In Prehistory, the award-winning archaeologist and renowned scholar Colin Renfrew covers human existence before the advent of written records–the overwhelming majority of our time here on earth–and gives an incisive, concise, and lively survey of the past, and of how scholars and scientists labor to bring it to light.

Renfrew begins by looking at prehistory as a discipline, detailing how breakthroughs such as radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis have helped us to define humankind’s past–how things have changed–much more clearly than was possible just a half century ago. As for why things have changed, Renfrew pinpoints some of the issues and challenges, past and present, that confront the study of prehistory and its investigators. Renfrew then offers a summary of human prehistory from early hominids to the rise of literate civilization that is refreshingly free of conventional wisdom and grand “unified” theories.

In this invaluable account, Colin Renfrew delivers a meticulously researched and passionately argued chronicle about our life on earth–and our ongoing quest to understand it.

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Review: Prehistory: The Making Of The Human Mind (Modern Library Chronicles #30)

User Review  - Stefaan Van ryssen - Goodreads

Accessible bird´s eye view of recent developments in archeology and paleontology, including the results of genetic research. At some times a bit unbalanced: speculation, conjecture and interpretation of facts vie for precendence. Read full review

Review: Prehistory: The Making Of The Human Mind (Modern Library Chronicles #30)

User Review  - A. Roy King - Goodreads

Colin Renfrew's "Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind" is a discussion of findings from what's referred to as "cognitive archaeology," a theoretical model that tries to describe the thinking of ... Read full review


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About the author (2009)

Colin Renfrew was professor of archaeology from 1981 to 2004 at Cambridge University, where he is now a Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. Also a Fellow of the British Academy, he has won numerous international medals and prizes and was made a life peer in 1991. A leading figure in archaeology worldwide, he has led many excavations, especially in Greece. He is co-author, with Paul Bahn, of Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice, the definitive student reference.

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