After the Ice: A Global Human History, 20,000-5000 BC

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 2006 - History - 622 pages
27 Reviews

20,000 B.C., the peak of the last ice age--the atmosphere is heavy with dust, deserts, and glaciers span vast regions, and people, if they survive at all, exist in small, mobile groups, facing the threat of extinction.

But these people live on the brink of seismic change--10,000 years of climate shifts culminating in abrupt global warming that will usher in a fundamentally changed human world. After the Ice is the story of this momentous period--one in which a seemingly minor alteration in temperature could presage anything from the spread of lush woodland to the coming of apocalyptic floods--and one in which we find the origins of civilization itself.

Drawing on the latest research in archaeology, human genetics, and environmental science, After the Ice takes the reader on a sweeping tour of 15,000 years of human history. Steven Mithen brings this world to life through the eyes of an imaginary modern traveler--John Lubbock, namesake of the great Victorian polymath and author of Prehistoric Times. With Lubbock, readers visit and observe communities and landscapes, experiencing prehistoric life--from aboriginal hunting parties in Tasmania, to the corralling of wild sheep in the central Sahara, to the efforts of the Guila Naquitz people in Oaxaca to combat drought with agricultural innovations.

Part history, part science, part time travel, After the Ice offers an evocative and uniquely compelling portrayal of diverse cultures, lives, and landscapes that laid the foundations of the modern world.

  

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Review: After the Ice: A Global Human History 20,000-5000 BC

User Review  - Sharon Miller - Goodreads

This book is dense and informative, very straightforward. I like a little more engagement with interpretation and bias, so the factual tone comes off as a bit juvenile. Also the narrator gimmick doesn ... Read full review

Review: After the Ice: A Global Human History 20,000-5000 BC

User Review  - JD - Goodreads

Immensely enjoyable! Perfectly useful in any informed layman's library. The information herein is both comprehensive and relatable. Read full review

Contents

The Birth of History Global warming archaeological evidence and human history
3
The World at 20000 BC Human evolution the causes of climate change and radiocarbon dating
8
WESTERN ASIA
17
Fires and Flowers Huntergatherers and the forest steppe 2000012300 BC
20
Village Life in the Oak Woodland Early Natufian huntergatherer communities 1230010800 BC
29
On the Banks of the Euphrates Abu Hureyra and the rise of huntergatherer sedentism 1230010800 BC
40
One Thousand Years of Drought Economy and society during the Younger Dryas 108009600 BC
46
The Founding of Jericho Neolithic architecture burial and technology of the Jordan valley 96008500 BC
56
A DoubleTake in the Oaxaca Valley The domestication of maize squash and beans in Mexico 105005000 BC
274
To Koster Huntergatherer lifestyles in North America 70005000 BC
286
Salmon Fishing and the Gift of History Complex huntergatherers of the northwest coast 60005000 BC
296
GREATER AUSTRALIA AND EAST ASIA
301
A Lost World Revealed Tasmanian huntergatherers 200006000 BC
304
Body Sculpture at Kow Swamp Burial and society in Southeast Australia 140006000 BC and megafaunal extinctions
312
Across the Arid Zone Huntergatherer adaptations to the Central Australian Desert 30000 BCAD 1966
319
Fighting Men and a Serpents Birth Art society and ideology in northern Australia 130006000 BC
327

Pictograms and Pillars Neolithic ideology symbolism and trade 96008500 BC
62
In the Valley of Ravens Architecture textiles and animal domestication 85007500 BC
72
The Town of Ghosts Ritual religion and economic collapse 75006300 BC
80
Heaven and Hell at Catalhoyuk Florescence of the Neolithic in Turkey 90007000 BC
88
Three Days on Cyprus Extinctions colonisation and cultural stasis 200006000 BC
97
EUROPE
107
Pioneers in Northern Lands The recolonisation of northwest Europe 2000012700 BC
110
With Reindeer Hunters Economy technology and society 127009600 BC
122
At Star Carr Adaptations to early Holocene woodlands in northern Europe 96008500 BC
134
Last of the Cave Painters Economic social and cultural change in southern Europe 96008500 BC
143
Coastal Catastrophe Sealevel change and its consequences 105006400 BC
150
Two Villages in Southeast Europe Sedentary huntergatherers and immigrant farmers 65006200 BC
158
Islands of the Dead Mesolithic burial and society in northern Europe 62005000 BC
168
At the Frontier The spread of farming in Central Europe and its impact on Mesolithic society 60004400 BC
178
A Mesolithic Legacy The Neolithic in southern Europe 60004000 BC debates in historical linguistics and genetics
187
A Scottish Envoi Colonisation Mesolithic lifestyles and the transition to the Neolithic in western Scotland 200004300 BC
196
THE AMERICAS
207
Searching for the First Americans The discovery of iceage settlement AD 19271994
210
American Past in the Present Dental linguistic genetic and skeletal evidence for the peopling of the Americas
221
On the Banks of the Chinchihuapi Excavation and interpretation of Monte Verde AD 1977199712500 BC
229
Explorers in a Restless Landscape North American fauna landscape evolution and human colonisation 2000011500 BC
236
Clovis Hunters on Trial Extinction of the megafauna and Clovis lifestyles 1150010000 BC
246
Virginity Reconsidered Huntergatherers of Tierra del Fuego and in the Amazon 115006000 BC
258
Herders and the ChristChild Animal and plant domestication in the Andes and coastal foragers 105005000 BC
266
Pigs and Gardens in the Highlands The development of tropical horticulture in highland New Guinea 200005000 BC
337
Lonesome in Sundaland Huntergatherers in the Southeast Asian tropical rainforests 200005000 BC
348
Down the Yangtze The origin of rice farming 115006500 BC
359
With the Jomon Complex huntergatherers in Japan and the earliest pottery 145006000 BC
370
Summer in the Arctic The mammoth steppe and colonisation of the High Arctic 190006500 BC
381
SOUTH ASIA
393
A Passage through India Indian rock art and villages on the Ganges Plain 200008500 BC
396
A Long Walk Across the Hindu Kush Early farming in South and Central Asia the domestication of cotton 75005000 BC
407
Vultures of the Zagros The roots of Mesopotamian civilisation 110009000 BC
420
Approaching Civilisation in Mesopotamia The development of towns and trade 85006000 BC
430
AFRICA
441
Baked Fish by the Nile Huntergatherers of North Africa and the Nile valley 2000011000 BC
443
On Lukenya Hill The development of East African landscapes and faunas after 20000 BC
453
Frogs Legs and Ostrich Eggs Huntergatherers of the Kalahari Desert 12500 BC
462
A South African Tour Changing environments diet and social life 125007000 BC
469
Thunderbolts in the Tropics Huntergatherers in Central and West Africa environmental change in East Africa 70005000 BC
483
Sheep and Cattle in the Sahara The development of pastoralism in North Africa 96005000 BC
490
Farmers in the Nile Valley and Beyond The arrival of cereal agriculture in North Africa 55004000 BC
499
The Blessings of Civilisation Past present and future impacts of global warming on human history
504
Notes
513
Bibliography
575
Picture Acknowledgements
611
Index
613
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About the author (2006)

Steven Mithen is Professor of Early Prehistory and Pro Vice Chancellor at theUniversity of Reading.

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