Patterns in Prehistory: Humankinds First Three Million Years

Paperback | August 17, 2006

byRobert J. Wenke, Deborah I. Olszewski

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Who are we? How did the world become what it is today? What paths did humanity traverse along the way? Patterns in Prehistory, Fifth Edition, is a comprehensive and engaging survey of humanity's past three million years. It brings together theories and archaeological examples to pose questions about who we are and the means by which humanity evolved into what it is today. Ideal for introductory courses in world prehistory and origins of complex societies, Patterns in Prehistory, Fifth Edition, offers a unified and thematic approach to the four great transformations--or patterns--that characterize humanity's past: the origins and evolution of culture; theorigins of modern humans and human behaviors; the origins of agriculture; and the origins of complex societies, civilizations, and pre-industrial states. Integrating theoretical approaches with archaeological data from the Middle East, Mesoamerica, North and South America, Egypt, China, the IndusValley, and temperate Europe, Patterns in Prehistory, Fifth Edition, reveals how archaeologists decipher the past. It demonstrates how theory and method are combined to derive interpretations and also considers how interpretations evolve as a result of accumulating data, technological advances inrecording and analyzing data sets, and newer theoretical perspectives. This new edition of Patterns in Prehistory provides: * Fresh insights with the addition of coauthor Deborah Olszewski, who has carefully reviewed and revamped the material with an eye toward making the text clearly understandable to today's students * Updated discussions throughout, including expanded information on post-processual archaeology, current methodologies, and technological advances * Approximately 250 illustrations and maps, more than half of which are new to this edition * Groundbreaking research on new discoveries of hominin fossils, genetic research, prehistoric migrations, the peopling of the Americas, and theories of the origins of agriculture and the origins of complex societies * Timelines for all relevant chapters as well as an overarching timeline for the entire book to help students place events in context * Extensively updated chapter bibliographies and chapter endnotes

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Who are we? How did the world become what it is today? What paths did humanity traverse along the way? Patterns in Prehistory, Fifth Edition, is a comprehensive and engaging survey of humanity's past three million years. It brings together theories and archaeological examples to pose questions about who we are and the means by which h...

Robert J. Wenke is at University of Washington. Deborah I. Olszewski is at University of Pennsylvania.

other books by Robert J. Wenke

Format:PaperbackDimensions:640 pages, 7.4 × 9.21 × 1.1 inPublished:August 17, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019516928X

ISBN - 13:9780195169287

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Table of Contents

Chapters 1-15 end with a Summary and Conclusions.Preface: Chapter 1. Prehistory, History, and ArchaeologyWhat Are Archaeologists Looking For? (The Meaning of the Past)Archaeology as the Reconstruction of Extinct Cultures and Their HistoriesArchaeology as a Body of Theories and Methods for Explaining the PastA Short History of Attempts to Understand the PastChapter 2. Fundamentals of ArchaeologyArchaeologists and the Practice of ArchaeologyThe Basic Data of the PastAnalyses of the PastDating the PastChapter 3. The Origins of CultureThe Problem of Cultural OriginsThe Nature of CultureThe Ecological Context of Cultural OriginsModels of Cultural OriginsChapter 4. The Origins of Homo sapiens sapiensHuman Evolution and Radiation: 1.8 million to Circa 300,000 Years AgoHomo sapiens: Models of OriginsThe Middle to Upper Paleolithic PeriodHuman Colonization of the World: Circa 30,000-10,000 Years AgoChapter 5. The First AmericansRoutes for the Initial Colonization of the AmericasEvidence for the First AmericansEarly Paleoindian EconomiesChapter 6. The Origins of AgricultureAgriculture, Domestication, and Sedentary CommunitiesHypotheses About the Origins of Domestication, Agriculture, and Sedentary CommunitiesEarly Domestication and Agriculture: The Post-Paleolithic BackgroundThe Origins of Domestication, Agriculture, and Sedentary Communities in Southwest AsiaOther Old World DomesticatesAgricultural Origins in the New WorldChapter 7. The Evolution of Complex SocietiesSocial Complexity and Human ValuesTraditional Sociocultural TypologiesContemporary Approaches to Sociocultural TypologyThe Archaeology of Complex SocietiesExplaining the Evolution of Civilizations: The Search for CausesChapter 8. Origins of Complex Societies in Southwest AsiaThe Ecological SettingFundamentals of the Southwest Asian Archaeological RecordThe Neolithic Origins of Southwest Asian CivilizationInitial Cultural ComplexityEarly States: The Uruk and Jemdet Nasr PeriodsThe Early Dynastic PeriodSouthwest Asia After 2350 B.C.Chapter 9. The Origins of Complex Societies in EgyptThe Ecological SettingEarly Egyptian AgricultureThe Predynastic PeriodThe Archaic, Old Kingdom, and First Intermediate PeriodsThe Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate PeriodsThe New Kingdom and Third Intermediate PeriodsAncient Egyptian Art and ThoughtEgyptian Writing and LiteratureWho Were the Ancient Egyptians?Chapter 10. The Evolution of Complex Societies in the Indus ValleyThe Ecological SettingThe Neolithic Background to South Asian Cultural ComplexityThe Neolithic-Urban TransitionEarly Harappan CultureMature Harappan CivilizationThe Decline of Harappan CivilizationChapter 11. The Evolution of Complex Societies in ChinaThe Ecological SettingEarly FarmersRegional Neolithic Developments in North ChinaEarly Complex Chinese SocietiesErh-li-t'ou CultureShang Civilization and Its ContemporariesEarly Imperial ChinaChapter 12. Later Complex Societies of the Old WorldTemperate EuropeA Brief Overview of Other Later Old World Complex SocietiesColonization of the Western Pacific IslandsChapter 13. The Evolution of Complex Societies in MesoamericaThe Ecological SettingEarly Mesoamerican FarmingThe Archaeological Record of Early Complex Mesoamerican SocietiesThe Archaeological Record of Mesoamerican States in the Valleys of Mexico and OaxacaThe MayaPostclassic MesoamericaThe Spanish ConquestChapter 14. The Evolution of Complex Societies in Andean South AmericaThe Ecological SettingEarly Hunters and GatherersThe Agricultural Basis of Andean CivilizationThe First Complex Societies in Andean South AmericaThe Early HorizonThe Early Intermediate Period: Early StatesThe Middle Horizon: Competing StatesThe Late Intermediate Period: Early EmpiresThe Late Horizon: The Imperial TransformationThe European ConquestChapter 15. Early Cultural Complexity in North AmericaThe Ecological SettingThe North American EastThe North American SouthwestChapter 16. Prehistory in PerspectiveOur Intellectual HeritageLessons of PrehistoryThe Future of ArchaeologyArt Credits: Index:

Editorial Reviews

"Patterns in Prehistory does a better job of covering the whole scope of archaeological achievement than any other book on the market."--Paul Zimansky, Boston University