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Around the year 1859 prehistory emerged across Europe as a new field. Major natural sciences (geology, paleontology ...) and human sciences (archeology, history, philology ...) were involved in the creation of this new science through the founding debates on man's timespan and animal origins. Within a decade, the debates over human origins were to be radically transformed by Darwin's theory of evolution.
This book offers a reinterpretation of this crucial period in the history of prehistoric archeology. It looks not only to discoveries and ideas but also to the actors (researchers official and amateur) and institutions (Congress, journals, learned societies, museums) which focused its development and diffusion.