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Draws on the latest research in archaeology, cognitive science, palaeontology, geology and the evolutionary sciences to create a comprehensive picture of the minds, societies and landscapes of the Mesolithic and Neolithic. To help close the gap between this period and our own, Mithen uses a time-travelling explorer, John Lubbock, who is equipped with the modern theoretical tools and archaeological knowledge. He encounters the inhabitants of archaeological sites, witnesses their daily routine, the struggles they face and the cognitive development which, according to Mithen, allowed homo sapiens to survive and create, around 5000 BC, the social and economic basis of the modern world.