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Tell Abu Hureyra, a settlement by the Euphrates River in Syria, was excavated in 1972-73 by an international team of archaeologists that included the authors of the book and scientists from English, American. and Australian universities. The excavation uncovered two successive villages: In the first village (c. 11,500-10,000 BP), inhabitants foraged vegetation and hunted local wildlife, the Persian gazelle, in particular. In the second village (c. 9700-7000 BP), inhabitants employed a more sophisticated method of food production, the cultivation of grain crops and the pasturing of sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs. Documented first hand in the book, these findings capture the transition in human history from the hunting-and-gathering to the farming way of life.
A. M. T. Moore is Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Social Sciences, Yale University, G. C. Hillman is Reader in Archaeology, University of London, and A. J. Legge is Reader in Archaeology; Director of the Center for Extramural Studies, University of London
"[...] well-documented [...] instructive."
– Bibliotheca Orientalis
"It brings a treasure-store of information about aspects of life never before investigated in such detail [...] it is a milestone in its subject, and contains many observations which will be of interest to historians of later periods – especially in the field of environmental history, where 'pre'-history can only artificially be separated from subsequent parts of the story. [...] The first comprehensive scientific study of human food-getting practices at the end of the last glaciation, in the area where farming began. It is a magnificent achievement, long-awaited and still incomplete but representing an end-of-century report on one of the most formative episodes in human history."
– Andrew Sherratt, University of Oxford, Ashmolean Museum and Institute of Archaeology, European Review of History