For courses in Ancient Civilizations, Prehistory of Humankind, World Prehistory, Old or New World Civilizations.
Drawing on many avenues of inquiry: archaeological excavations, surveys, laboratory work, highly specialized scientific investigations, and on both historical and ethnohistorical records; Ancient Civilizations, 3/e provides a comprehensive and straightforward account of the world’s first civilizations and a brief summary of the way in which they were discovered.
Table of contents
Part I: Background.
Chapter 1: The Study of Civilization
Chapter 2: Theories of States
Part II: The First Civilizations
Chapter 3: Mesopotamia: The First Cities (3500-2000 B.C.)
Chapter 4: Egyptian Civilization
Chapter 5: South Asia: Harappan and Later Civilizations
Chapter 6: The First Chinese Civilizations
Part III: Great Powers in the Near East
Chapter 7: Near Eastern Kingdoms (2000-1200 B.C.)
Chapter 8: The Near East in the First Millennium B.C.
Part IV: The Mediterranean World:
Chapter 9: The First Aegean Civilizations
Chapter 10: The Mediterranean World in the First Millennium (1000-30 B.C.)
Chapter 11: Imperial Rome
Part V: Northeast Africa and Asia
Chapter 12: Northeast Africa: Kush, Meroe, and Aksum:
Chapter 13: Divine Kings in Southeast Asia
Chapter 14: Kingdoms and Empires in East Asia (770 B.C.-A.D. 700)
Part VI: Early States in the Americas
Chapter 15: Lowland Mesoamerica
Chapter 16: Highland Mesoamerica
Chapter 17: The Foundations of Andean Civilization
Chapter 18: Andean States (200 B.C.-A.D. 1534)
Chapter 19: Epilogue
New to this edition
New perceptions of the origins and collapse of states.
Chapter 2 reviews the issue of sustainability. A new generation of research into climate change is revising perceptions of the vulnerability of early states to environmental and climatic shifts. A short section on western and indigenous archaeologists has been added
The First Civilizations.
New discoveries, surveyed in Chapters 3 and 4, are changing long-established ideas on the origins of Sumerian and Egyptian civilization.
South Asian and Southeast Asian Civilization.
Chapters 5 and 13 describe entirely new understandings of these civilizations derived from recent fieldwork.
Mesoamerica and the Andes.
Chapters 16 through 18 incorporate spectacular new discoveries, including the Preclassic Maya San Bartolo paintings and Caral, the oldest major ceremonial center in the
Revision and updating throughout.
The entire text and the Guide to Further Reading (now integrated into a single section at the back of the book) have been revised and updated on a page-by-page basis.
Features & benefits
Three types of in-text boxes enhance the book, designed to amplify the narrative:
Discovery. These boxes describe important finds that changed our perceptions of an early civilization.
Sites. Important sites of unusual interest and significance receive special coverage.
Voices. Some chapters include special boxes that quote from writings of ancient times, giving an unusual “voice” to the text.
Methodical Progression of Parts/Sections that Compose Text
Ancient Civilizations is divided into six parts that lead logically from one to the other. Part I gives essential background, some key definitions, and historical information. It also describes some of the major theories concerning the development of civilizations, one of the key controversies of archaeology for more than a century. Part II focuses on the very first civilizations: Sumer, Egypt, the Indus Valley, and the earliest Chinese states. Parts III and IV build on earlier foundations and trace later civilizations in the Near East and the Mediterranean.. Part V links the Mediterranean and Asian worlds with the discovery of the monsoon winds of the Indian Ocean about 2,000 years ago. The last four chapters, Part VI, describe the remarkable states of Mesoamerica and the Andean region of the Americas. (See TOC)
This book is designed to provide a balanced summary of the earliest civilizations without giving priority to one area over another. There is no one section that is stronger than the others. For example, the relatively little known Southeast Asian civilizations receive equal treatment with other areas. In a subject area where many people tend to dwell on the Egyptians, the Maya, and the Inca, this is a refreshing, and appropriate approach.
Guide to Further Reading
A Guide to Further Reading is provided at the end of the book rather than a comprehensive bibliography. The works cited in the chapter-by-chapter Guide will give readers access to the more specialized literature through widely quoted standard works and some guidance through a myriad of specialized monographs and periodical articles. Because the individual literatures for each area are now so complex that they are confusing, even for specialists, the Guide to Further Reading reduces confusion while providing additional sources of information.
Chris Scarre is an archaeologist specializing in the prehistory of Europe and the Mediterranean, with a particular interest in the archaeology of Atlantic façade (Iberia, France, Britain, and Ireland). He took his MA and PhD at Cambridge, the latter a study of landscape change and archaeological sites in western France. He has participated in fieldwork projects in Britain, France, and Greece and has directed excavations at Neolithic settlement and mortuary sites in western France. His early work was published in Ancient France. He is currently Deputy Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, and editor of the twice-yearly Cambridge Archaeological Journal. As a Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge, he teaches a wide range of archaeological subjects from early stone use in the Paleolithic to the expansion of the Roman Empire.
His research interests include the relationship of prehistoric monuments to their landscape setting, the use of color in prehistoric societies, and the development and character of early state societies. Recent papers have considered the meanings that prehistoric societies may have attached to natural landscape features in Brittany, and the manner in which those meanings were given material expression through the construction of burial mounds or settings of standing stones. The nature of early farming societies along the Atlantic façade in relation to theories of demographic displacement is reviewed in a number of articles published since 1992. His latest field project is the excavation (together with French colleagues) of a prehistoric burial mound at Prissé-la-Charrière in western France.
As Deputy Director of the McDonald Institute he is involved with the wider research programs of the Institute that include field projects in Europe and the Middle East and laboratories specializing in the analysis of faunal and botanical remains.
Brian Fagan is one of the leading archaeological writers in the world and an internationally recognized authority on world prehistory. He studied archaeology and anthropology at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, and then spent seven years in sub-Saharan Africa working in museums and in monument conservation and excavating early farming sites in Zambia and East Africa. He was one of the pioneers of multidisciplinary African history in the 1960s. From 1967 to 2003, he was Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he specialized in lecturing and writing about archaeology to wide audiences. He is now Emeritus.
Professor Fagan has written six best-selling textbooks apart from this book: Ancient Lives: An Introduction to Archaeology; In the Beginning; Archaeology: A Brief Introduction; People of the Earth; World Prehistory, all published by Prentice Hall–that are used around the world. His general books include The Rape of the Nile, a classic history of Egyptology; The Adventure of Archaeology; Time Detectives; Ancient North America; The Little Ice Age, The Long Summer, and Fish on Friday. He is General Editor of the Oxford Companion to Archaeology. In addition, he has published several scholarly monographs on African archaeology and numerous specialized articles in national and international journals. He is also an expert on multimedia teaching and has received the Society for American Archaeology’s first Public Education Award for his indefatigable efforts on behalf of archaeology and education.
Brian Fagan’s other interests include bicycling, sailing, kayaking, and good food. He is married and lives in Santa Barbara with his wife and daughter, four cats (who supervise his writing), and, last but not least, seven rabbits.