About this title This comprehensive review of world prehistory is organized around the five topics central to archaeology: the origins of culture, the development of physically "modern" people, the Pleistocene cultures, the establishment of agricultural economies, and the rise of complex states and empires. It presents a coherent philosophy of the field, reflecting the "new archaeology" of the s and 70s while reviewing the methodological revisions of the s, and relates the archaeological data from hundreds of sites to the great questions of prehistorical change. Thoroughly revised and brought up to date in light of recent scholarship, the second edition is more compact and even easier to use. It features expanded coverage of Egypt and Mexico, 25 new illustrations, and a wealth of anecdotal material.

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Wenke Review by: G. Clark American Antiquity, Vol. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive.

We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. Other Ngatatjara, let alone anyone from the point of view of what I consider to be "main- else, have no clue as to its original meaning.

Chapters stream" American prehistoric archaeology. The book 6 and 7 deal with nineteenth-century marine archae- is written in a clear, straightforward and often witty ology and warfare.

Here, intuitively, one might suppose style, and is better illustrated than its predecessors. A particular to good effect in chapter and section headings. The essay is structured around what Wenke seen as causal. While acknowledging them as general objec- and points out that much of archaeology is really the tives, most workers tend to "weight" these goals very latter. In the last analysis he seems to demure from differently. Cultural reconstruction is often viewed as making any general claims for his approach.

He ends a dubious, and ultimately unattainable pursuit, while simply by questioning the present course of archae- the compilation of culture histories continues apace ology as bringing us any closer to the real thing.

In this, both here and abroad in most of the world, the com- the book must be counted a success. But his unanalyzed pilation of culture histories is archaeology. The ex- commitment to a real thing leaves only an ad hoc, planation of culture-process questions has, of course, however insightful, critique of the current state of af- received most of our intellectual attention for the past fairs in archaeology. While this may be a little disap- two decades-the results are admittedly meager.

I would pointing, it is a valuable contribution in its own right. Oxford the absence of a fully axiomatized and theoretically University Press, New York, This fact seems to be lost on illustrations, credits, index. Clark, Arizona State University. Neither Wenke nor I would be willing to do that. Grafted it is defined in the United States: 1 the origins of onto the evolutionary paradigm is a loose kind of cul- culture i.

The new book structure i. While I, topics": 1 the Neanderthals and their relationship to and many other workers, subscribe to materialist biases modem humans, 2 new perspectives on Paleolithic of exactly this rather vague sort, it should be noted cave art, 3 the archaeological implications of the mi- that there are many different and sometimes conflicting tochondrial DNA evidence for a recent, African origin construals of materialism, some of them explicitly non-, for Homo sapiens sapiens, and 4 current work on or even anti-Marxist.

The perspec- any archaeologist could "do" archaeology i. Although one could, of ditionally emphasized southwest Asia , although the course, find nits to pick with it most of mine are in emphasis varies, of course, according to the state of the sections on Neanderthals, modem human origins, knowledge of the author.

A consistent theoretical stance and the African "Eve" scenario , the overall control of what a colleague called "the Michigan school" is ar- the literature is excellent, and the theoretical perspec- ticulated in Chapter 1, and maintained throughout, tive is one congenial to that of most American ar- lending a certain coherency to the book that is often chaeologists.

It will continue to set a standard matched lacking in other texts. A somewhat wistful concluding by few of its rivals. Related Papers.


Patterns in Prehistory : Humankind's First Three Million Years



Patterns in Prehistory: Humankind's First Three Million Years



ISBN 13: 9780195034417



Patterns in Prehistory


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