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This student-friendly textbook introduces the archaeological past from approximately seven million years ago through later politically complex societies. Archaeology and Humanity's Story: A Brief Introduction to World Prehistory does not attempt to discuss every archaeologically important site and development in prehistory and early history. Rather, it presents key issues from earlier prehistory and then organizes the chapters on politically complex societies using a similar framework. This allows students to easily compare and contrast different geographical regions. Each of these chapters also highlights a specific case study in which similar themes are examined, such as the written word; resource networks, trade, and exchange; social life; ritual and religion; and warfare and violence. Each chapter includes several sidebar boxes, a timeline showing the chronology relevant to that chapter, and "The Big Picture," "Peopling the Past," and "Evolutionary Processes" features.
Deborah I. Olszewski is Adjunct Professor and Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is coauthor, with Robert J. Wenke, of Patterns in Prehistory: Humankind's First Three Million Years, Fifth Edition (OUP, 2006).
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Basics of Archaeology
Chapter 1: Acquiring and Interpreting Data in Archaeology Why Archaeology is Important Survey and Excavation Methods Research Design Finding and Recording Sites --The Big Picture: Archaeological Survey in Practice Excavating Sites --The Big Picture: Archaeological Excavation in Practice Multidisciplinary Data Sets How Old is It? Relative Dating Methods Absolute Dating Methods Time Scales in Dating Theories and Interpretations --Timeline: The Development of Archaeology Who Owns the Past? --Peopling the Past: Indigenous Archaeology Summary Endnotes
Part 2: Prehistory before Political Complexity
Chapter 2: Humanity's Roots A Word about Classification --Timeline: Early Hominins Bipedalism and the Earliest Hominins Why Is Bipedalism Important? --Advantages of Bipedalism --Origins of Bipedalism Evolutionary Processes "Cousins" in the Early Hominin Lineage Tool Use and Manufacture Stone Tools --Peopling the Past: Culture in the Prehistoric Record Which Hominins Made and Used Stone Tools? --The Big Picture: Oldowan Industrial Complex Early Hominin Culture --Peopling the Past: Hunting versus Scavenging Summary Endnotes
Chapter 3: Becoming Human Pleistocene Ice Ages Early Waves of Out of Africa The Earliest Movement Out of Africa Meanwhile, Back in Africa --Timeline: Later Hominins --The Big Picture; Acheulian, Middle Stone Age, and Middle Paleolithic Traditions Later Movement Out of Africa Modern Humans, Neandertals, and Homo floresiensis Multiregional and Recent Single Origin Models --Skeletal Anatomy --Genetics --Isolation and a New Species --Peopling the Past: Genetics, Neandertals, and Modern Humans The Origins of Modern Behaviors --Peopling the Past: Defining and Identifying Modern Behavior Middle Stone Age Africa Language Middle Paleolithic and Chatelperronian Europe Disappearance of the Neandertals Summary Endnotes
Chapter 4: A World of Modern Humans Modern Humans as Hunter-Gatherer-Foragers Later Stone Age Africa --Timeline: Hunter-Gatherer-Foragers --The Big Picture: Later Stone Age and Upper Paleolithic Technologies and Tools Upper Paleolithic Europe --Early Upper Paleolithic --Mid-Upper Paleolithic --Peopling the Past: The Role of Art in Late Pleistocene Cultures --Late Upper Paleolithic --Interpreting Upper Paleolithic Cave Art World-Wide Expansion Australia/New Guinea The Americas --Peopling the Past: Megafaunal Extinctions Paleoamericans Summary Endnotes
Chapter 5: Hunting, Gathering, Foraging, and Farming The End of the Ice Ages --Timelines: Late Hunter-Gatherer-Foragers The Old World Middle East --Early Epipaleolithic --Middle Epipaleolithic --Late Epipaleolithic --Peopling the Past: Aggregation Sites in the Levantine Epipaleolithic Transition to Food Production in the Middle East --Pre-Pottery Neolithic A --Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Asia --Peopling the Past: Ritual in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Africa Europe The New World North America Mexico/Central America South America Why Food Production? Early Ideas Current Ideas --The Big Picture: Niche Construction Theory and the Origins of Food Production Complexity in the Archaeological Record Social Complexity Political Complexity Summary Endnotes
Part 3: On the Threshold of Political Complexity
Chapter 6: The North American Southwest Early Food Production --Timeline: The North American Southwest The Late Archaic Period The Basketmaker Phases of Ancestral Pueblo --Basketmaker II --Basketmaker III Pithouse to Pueblo Transition The Chaco Phenomenon Resource Networks, Trade, and Exchange Social Life --Peopling the Past: Chaco Canyon and Mesoamerican Connections --Peopling the Past: The Roles of Men and Women in Chaco Canyon Warfare and Violence The Late Bonito Phase in Chaco Canyon Ancestral Pueblo after the Chaco Phenomenon Pueblo IV and Later --Peopling the Past: Oral Traditions and Archaeology in the North American Southwest Hohokam and Mogollon: Contemporaries of the Ancestral Pueblo Hohokam Mogollon Summary Endnotes
Chapter 7: Eastern North America Early Food Production --Timeline: Eastern North America Poverty Point Culture Shell Ring Complexes Woodland Period Early Woodland Middle Woodland --Hopewell Interaction Sphere Late Woodland Cahokia and the Early Mississippian Period Resource Networks, Trade, and Exchange Social Life --Peopling the Past: Resources, Trade, and Exchange at Cahokia --Peopling the Past: High-Status Burials at Cahokia Warfare and Violence The Mississippian After Cahokia The Late Mississippian --Peopling the Past: Symbols in the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex Summary Endnotes
Part 4: Early Politically Complex Societies
Chapter 8: Early Dynastic Mesopotamia Early Food Production Pre-Pottery Neolithic --Timeline: Mesopotamia Pottery Neolithic Before the Early Dynastic The Uruk Period Early Dynastic Mesopotamia --The Big Picture: Early Dynastic Political Organization The Written Word Resource Networks, Trade, and Exchange --Supply, Demand, and Wealth Social Life --Peopling the Past: Roles of Women and Men in Mesopotamia Ritual and Religion --The Big Picture: Ideology and Art in the Early Dynastic Warfare and Violence Later Mesopotamia Summary Endnotes
Chapter 9: Pharaonic State and Old Kingdom Egypt --Timeline: Egypt Early Food Production The Nabta Playa Predynastic Pharaonic State Old Kingdom Egypt The Written Word Resource Networks, Trade, and Exchange --Supply, Demand, and Wealth Social Life --Peopling the Past: Building the Pyramids of Egypt --The Big Picture: Political Organization in Old Kingdom Egypt Ritual and Religion --The Big Picture: Art and Ideology in Old Kingdom Egypt Warfare and Violence After the Old Kingdom Summary Endnotes
Chapter 10: Shang China Early Food Production --Timeline: China Before Shang Yangshao Culture Longshan Culture Erlitou Culture Shang China --The Big Picture: Political Organization in the Shang Period The Written Word Resource Networks, Trade, and Exchange --Peopling the Past: Oracle Bones, Divination, and the Origins of Writing Social Life Ritual and Religion --The Big Picture: Art and Ideology in Shang China Warfare and Violence After Shang Summary Endnotes
Chapter 11: The Indus Valley Early Food Production --Timeline: The Harappan Early Harappan The Mature Harappan --Peopling the Past: Deciphering the Indus Script The Written Word Resource Networks, Trade, and Exchange --The Big Picture: Trade and Exchange in the Mature Harappan Ideology Urbanization and Its Consequences --The Big Picture: Urbanism in the Mature Harappan After the Mature Harappan Summary Endnotes
Chapter 12: Mesoamerica and the Classic Maya --Timeline: Mesoamerica Early Food Production Formative Mesoamerica The Olmec in the South Gulf Coast Lowlands Early and Middle Preclassic Maya The Valley of Oaxaca The Basin of Mexico Late Preclassic Maya The Lowlands Classic Maya The Written Word Resource Networks, Trade, and Exchange Social Life Ritual and Religion --The Big Picture: Political Organization in the Classic Maya Warfare and Violence --The Big Picture: Art and Ideology in the Classic Maya After the Classic Maya --Peopling the Past: Politics and Warfare Terminal Classic and Postclassic Maya Arrival of the Spanish Summary Endnotes
Part 5: Later Politically Complex Societies
Chapter 13: Andean South America and the Inka Empire Early Food Production Late Preceramic Period --Timeline: The Andean Region Initial Period Before the Inka Early Horizon Early Intermediate Period/Early Middle Horizon Middle Horizon --Wari Empire --Tiwanaku Empire --Late Intermediate Period The Inka Empire The Nonwritten Word Resource Networks, Trade, and Exchange --Peopling the Past: The Inka Road System Social Life --The Big Picture: Political Organization in the Inka Empire Ritual and Religion --The Big Picture: Art and Ideology in the Inka Empire Warfare and Violence After the Inka Summary Endnotes
Chapter 14: Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe in Africa Food Production --Timeline: Southeast Africa Metallurgy The Rise of Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe Resource Networks, Trade, and Exchange --The Big Picture: Trade and Exchange in the Shashe-Limpopo and Plateau Region Social Life Ritual and Religion --The Big Picture: Art and Ideology at Great Zimbabwe Oral Traditions --Peopling the Past: The Role of Oral History and Historical Documents After Great Zimbabwe Summary Endnotes
Chapter 15: Politically Complex Societies in Perspective Social Complexity in Pre-Contact Hawai'i The Rise of Political Complexity The Agency and Ecodynamics Frameworks The Networks and Boundaries Framework Themes in Politically Complex Societies The Individual and the Group Cornering the Market Ideology All Good Things Come to an End Lessons From the Past? Summary Endnotes