This book provides a concise overview of human prehistory. It shows how an understanding of the distant past offers new perspectives on present-day challenges facing our species – and how we can build a sustainable future for all life on planet Earth. Deborah Barsky tells a fascinating story of the long-term evolution of human culture and provides up-to-date examples from the archaeological record to illustrate the different phases of human history. Barsky also presents a refreshing and original analysis about issues plaguing modern globalized society, such as racism, institutionalized religion, the digital revolution, human migrations, terrorism, and war. Written in an accessible and engaging style, Human Prehistory is aimed at an introductory-level audience. Students will acquire a comprehensive understanding of the interdisciplinary, scientific study of human prehistory, as well as the theoretical interpretations of human evolutionary processes that are used in contemporary archaeological practice. Definitions, tables, and illustrations accompany the text.
1. An introduction to Prehistoric Archeology
2. Prehistory as a multidisciplinary science
3. Becoming human
4. The emergence of Lower Paleolithic cultures
5. The ascent of Paleolithic cultures
6. Conquest: the final phases of the Stone Age
7. The new world order following the Paleolithic
8. Communication networking and the end of the Prehistoric Era
9. Global warming: natural climatic trend or humanly induced phenomena?
10. Human distortions and alienation from nature
11. Who are we? Ancient and modern human migrations
12. On religion, war and terrorism in the globalized world
13. The role of prehistory in understanding the modern human condition
Deborah Barsky is a lithic specialist, archaeologist, and researcher at The Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution and assistant professor with the UOC (Universitat Obert de Catalunya) in the History and Art History Department at the Universitat Rovira I Virgili in Tarragona, Spain. Engaged in research projects on archaeological sites throughout the world, she has published numerous works in books and scholarly journals.