In Scenes from Prehistoric Life, the distinguished archaeologist Francis Pryor paints a vivid picture of Britain's prehistory, from the Old Stone Age (about one million years ago) to the arrival of the Romans in AD 43, in a sequence of fifteen chronologically arranged portraits of specific ancient British landscapes.
Whether writing about the early human family who trod the estuarine muds of Happisburgh in Norfolk circa 900,000 BC or the Iron Age denizens of Britain's first towns, Pryor brings the ancient past to life: revealing the daily routines of our ancient ancestors, and how they coped with both simple practical problems and more existential challenges. Pryor also demonstrates the impact this rapid cultural evolution had on the landscape. We travel across four millennia, from a Britain dominated by forests, moors, heaths and open floodplains to a landscape recognisable to many people living today: one demarcated by roads, fields, farms and villages.
At a time when the relationship between lifestyle and landscape is more fraught than ever before, it is crucial to look to the past to inform our present, and to help us to cope with the challenges of the future.
Francis Pryor is one of Britain's most distinguished living archaeologists, the excavator of Flag Fen and a sheep farmer. He is the author of seventeen books including The Fens (a Radio 4 Book of the Week), Stonehenge, Flag Fen, Britain BC, Britain AD, and The Making of the British Landscape.
"You get a lot of Francis Pryor in this book, but that is only a good thing. His descriptions of visiting and excavating the sites mentioned add welcome dimensions [...] Decades' worth of communicating archaeology on TV and a recent foray into crime fiction writing help make this book a highly compelling read. What the book does particularly well is to humanise prehistory"
"Pryor's colourful book makes life in Britain BC often sound rather more appealing that the frenetic and anxious 21st century!"
– Daily Mail
"[Pryor] brings almost impossibly distant times into brilliant focus"
– Eastern Daily Press Norfolk
"Vividly relating what life was like in pre-Roman Britain"
– Choice Magazine