By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean The Birth of Eurasia

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 11/10/2015
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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We live in a globalized world, but mobility is nothing new. Barry Cunliffe tells the story of how humans first started building the globalized world we know today. Set on a huge continental stage, from Europe to China, it covers over 10,000 years, from the origins of farming around 9000 BC to the expansion of the Mongols in the thirteenth century AD.

An unashamedly "big history" based on the latest archaeological evidence, By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean charts nothing less than the growth of European, Near Eastern, and Chinese civilizations. It is the story of the "connective tissue" through which people, trade, and ideas flowed between these civilizations over the course of ten millennia - the Indian Ocean, the Silk Roads, and the great steppe corridor. Along the way, it is also the chronicle of the rise and fall of empires, the development of maritime trade, and the shattering impact of predatory nomads on their urban neighbors.

Above all, as this immense historical panorama unfolds, we begin to see in clearer focus those basic underlying factors - the acquisitive nature of humanity, the differing environments in which people live, and the dislocating effect of even slight climatic variation - that have driven change throughout the ages and help us better understand our world today.

Author Biography

Sir Barry Cunliffe, Emeritus Professor of European Archaeology, University of Oxford

Barry Cunliffe taught archaeology in the Universities of Bristol and Southampton and was Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford from 1972 to 2008, thereafter becoming Emeritus Professor. He has excavated widely in Britain (Fishbourne, Bath, Danebury, Hengistbury Head, Brading) and in the Channel Islands, Brittany, and Spain, and has been President of the Council for British Archaeology and of the Society of Antiquaries, Governor of the Museum of London, and a Trustee of the British Museum. He is currently a Commissioner of English Heritage. His many publications include The Ancient Celts (1997), Facing the Ocean (2001), The Druids: A Very Short Introduction (2010), and Britain Begins (2012), all also published by Oxford University Press. He received a knighthood in 2006.

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