Popular Prehistory Books

26+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Prehistory


4.3/5

Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich

A groundbreaking book about how technological advances in genomics and the extraction of ancient DNA have profoundly changed our understanding of human prehistory while resolving many long-standing controversies. Massive technological innovations now allow scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA as never before, and it has become clear--in part from David Reich's own A groundbreaking book about how technological advances in genomics and the extraction of ancient DNA have profoundly changed our understanding of human prehistory while resolving many long-standing controversies. Massive technological innovations now allow scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA as never before, and it has become clear--in part from David Reich's own contributions to the field--that genomics is as important a means of understanding the human past as archeology, linguistics, and the written word. Now, in The New Science of the Human Past, Reich describes with unprecedented clarity just how the human genome provides not only all the information that a fertilized human egg needs to develop but also contains within it the history of our species. He delineates how the Genomic Revolution and ancient DNA are transforming our understanding of our own lineage as modern humans; how genomics deconstructs the idea that there are no biologically meaningful differences among human populations (though without adherence to pernicious racist hierarchies); and how DNA studies reveal the deep history of human inequality--among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals within a population.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.4/5

The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron

From the author of The Bear, the enthralling story of two women separated by millennia, but linked by an epic journey that will transform them both Forty thousand years in the past, the last family of Neanderthals roams the earth. After a crushingly hard winter, their numbers are low, but Girl, the oldest daughter, is just coming of age and her family is determined to trave From the author of The Bear, the enthralling story of two women separated by millennia, but linked by an epic journey that will transform them both Forty thousand years in the past, the last family of Neanderthals roams the earth. After a crushingly hard winter, their numbers are low, but Girl, the oldest daughter, is just coming of age and her family is determined to travel to the annual meeting place and find her a mate. But the unforgiving landscape takes its toll, and Girl is left alone to care for Runt, a foundling of unknown origin. As Girl and Runt face the coming winter storms, Girl realizes she has one final chance to save her people, even if it means sacrificing part of herself. In the modern day, archaeologist Rosamund Gale works well into her pregnancy, racing to excavate newly found Neanderthal artifacts before her baby comes. Linked across the ages by the shared experience of early motherhood, both stories examine the often taboo corners of women's lives. Haunting, suspenseful, and profoundly moving, THE LAST NEANDERTHAL asks us to reconsider all we think we know about what it means to be human.
I WANT TO READ THIS

3.8/5

Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America by Craig Childs

From the author of Apocalyptic Planet comes a vivid travelogue through prehistory, that traces the arrival of the first people in North America at least twenty thousand years ago and the artifacts that tell of their lives and fates. In Atlas of a Lost World, Craig Childs upends our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and From the author of Apocalyptic Planet comes a vivid travelogue through prehistory, that traces the arrival of the first people in North America at least twenty thousand years ago and the artifacts that tell of their lives and fates. In Atlas of a Lost World, Craig Childs upends our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and ultimately thrived is a story that resonates from the Pleistocene to our modern era. The lower sea levels of the Ice Age exposed a vast land bridge between Asia and North America, but the land bridge was not the only way across. Different people arrived from different directions, and not all at the same time. The first explorers of the New World were few, their encampments fleeting. The continent they reached had no people but was inhabited by megafauna--mastodons, giant bears, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, five-hundred-pound panthers, enormous bison, and sloths that stood one story tall. The first people were hunters--Paleolithic spear points are still encrusted with the proteins of their prey--but they were wildly outnumbered and many would themselves have been prey to the much larger animals. Atlas of a Lost World chronicles the last millennia of the Ice Age, the violent oscillations and retreat of glaciers, the clues and traces that document the first encounters of early humans, and the animals whose presence governed the humans' chances for survival. A blend of science and personal narrative reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Across unexplored landscapes yet to be peopled, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.6/5

The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog by W. Bruce Cameron

Set against the most dramatic time in our species' history, The Dog Master tells the story of one tribe's struggle for survival and one extraordinary man's bond with a wolf--a friendship that changed mankind forever Thirty thousand years ago, ice was storming the planet. Among the species forced out of the trees and onto the steppes by the advancing cold was modern man, wh Set against the most dramatic time in our species' history, The Dog Master tells the story of one tribe's struggle for survival and one extraordinary man's bond with a wolf--a friendship that changed mankind forever Thirty thousand years ago, ice was storming the planet. Among the species forced out of the trees and onto the steppes by the advancing cold was modern man, who was both predator and prey. No stranger to the experiences that make us human--a mother's love and a father's betrayal, tribal war and increasing famine, political intrigue and forbidden love, joy and hope and devastating loss--our ancestors competed for scant resources in a brutal landscape. Mankind stood on the cold brink of extinction...but they had a unique advantage over other species, a new technology--domesticated wolves. Only a set of extraordinary circumstances could have transformed one of these fierce creatures into a hunting companion, a bodyguard, a soldier, and a friend. The Dog Master by W. Bruce Cameron is an evocative glimpse of prehistory, an emotional coming-of-age saga, a thrilling tale of survival against all odds, and the exciting, imaginative story of the first dog.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.5/5

Nordiska gudar by Johan Egerkrans

Med avstamp i de gamla Eddorna har Johan Egerkrans tolkat de mest spännande och fantasifulla sagorna. Från den gruvliga skapelseberättelsen där ur-jätten Ymer styckas av Oden och hans bröder, till gudarnas ödesmättade undergång i Ragnarök. Från urtidens kaos, till världsträdets nio riken med alla dess fantastiska och ohyggliga skapelser. En mörk, blodig, fantasieggande och Med avstamp i de gamla Eddorna har Johan Egerkrans tolkat de mest spännande och fantasifulla sagorna. Från den gruvliga skapelseberättelsen där ur-jätten Ymer styckas av Oden och hans bröder, till gudarnas ödesmättade undergång i Ragnarök. Från urtidens kaos, till världsträdets nio riken med alla dess fantastiska och ohyggliga skapelser. En mörk, blodig, fantasieggande och stundtals humoristisk resa i den nordiska mytologins värld. Välkända berättelser från Eddorna - som sagorna om Iduns äpplen, Mimers brunn och Tors färd till Utgård - paras med fakta om de varelser som befolkar Asgård, Jotunheim och underjorden.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4/5

The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction by Pat Shipman

With their large brains, sturdy physique, sophisticated tools, and hunting skills, Neanderthals are the closest known relatives to humans. Approximately 200,000 years ago, as modern humans began to radiate out from their evolutionary birthplace in Africa, Neanderthals were already thriving in Europe--descendants of a much earlier migration of the African genus Homo. But wh With their large brains, sturdy physique, sophisticated tools, and hunting skills, Neanderthals are the closest known relatives to humans. Approximately 200,000 years ago, as modern humans began to radiate out from their evolutionary birthplace in Africa, Neanderthals were already thriving in Europe--descendants of a much earlier migration of the African genus Homo. But when modern humans eventually made their way to Europe 45,000 years ago, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Ever since the first Neanderthal bones were identified in 1856, scientists have been vexed by the question, why did modern humans survive while their evolutionary cousins went extinct? The Invaders musters compelling evidence to show that the major factor in the Neanderthals' demise was direct competition with newly arriving humans. Drawing on insights from the field of invasion biology, which predicts that the species ecologically closest to the invasive predator will face the greatest competition, Pat Shipman traces the devastating impact of a growing human population: reduction of Neanderthals' geographic range, isolation into small groups, and loss of genetic diversity. But modern humans were not the only invaders who competed with Neanderthals for big game. Shipman reveals fascinating confirmation of humans' partnership with the first domesticated wolf-dogs soon after Neanderthals first began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, she hypothesizes, made possible an unprecedented degree of success in hunting large Ice Age mammals--a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for humans over Neanderthals at a time when climate change made both groups vulnerable.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.7/5

Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World by Richard C. Francis

Without our domesticated plants and animals, human civilization as we know it would not exist. We would still be living at subsistence level as hunter-gatherers if not for domestication. It is no accident that the cradle of civilization—the Middle East—is where sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, and cats commenced their fatefully intimate association with humans. Before the agricu Without our domesticated plants and animals, human civilization as we know it would not exist. We would still be living at subsistence level as hunter-gatherers if not for domestication. It is no accident that the cradle of civilization—the Middle East—is where sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, and cats commenced their fatefully intimate association with humans. Before the agricultural revolution, there were perhaps 10 million humans on earth. Now there are more than 7 billion of us. Our domesticated species have also thrived, in stark contrast to their wild ancestors. In a human-constructed environment—or man-made world—it pays to be domesticated. Domestication is an evolutionary process first and foremost. What most distinguishes domesticated animals from their wild ancestors are genetic alterations resulting in tameness, the capacity to tolerate close human proximity. But selection for tameness often results in a host of seemingly unrelated by-products, including floppy ears, skeletal alterations, reduced aggression, increased sociality, and reduced brain size. It's a package deal known as the domestication syndrome. Elements of the domestication syndrome can be found in every domesticated species—not only cats, dogs, pigs, sheep, cattle, and horses but also more recent human creations, such as domesticated camels, reindeer, and laboratory rats. That domestication results in this suite of changes in such a wide variety of mammals is a fascinating evolutionary story, one that sheds much light on the evolutionary process in general. We humans, too, show signs of the domestication syndrome, which some believe was key to our evolutionary success. By this view, human evolution parallels the evolution of dogs from wolves, in particular. A natural storyteller, Richard C. Francis weaves history, archaeology, and anthropology to create a fascinating narrative while seamlessly integrating the most cutting-edge ideas in twenty-first-century biology, from genomics to evo-devo.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.3/5

The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols by Genevieve von Petzinger

One of the most significant works on our evolutionary ancestry since Richard Leakey’s paradigm-shattering Origins, The First Signs is the first-ever exploration of the little-known geometric images that accompany most cave art around the world—the first indications of symbolic meaning, intelligence, and language. Imagine yourself as a caveman or woman. The place: Europe. Th One of the most significant works on our evolutionary ancestry since Richard Leakey’s paradigm-shattering Origins, The First Signs is the first-ever exploration of the little-known geometric images that accompany most cave art around the world—the first indications of symbolic meaning, intelligence, and language. Imagine yourself as a caveman or woman. The place: Europe. The time: 25,000 years ago, the last Ice Age. In reality, you live in an open-air tent or a bone hut. But you also belong to a rich culture that creates art. In and around your cave paintings are handprints and dots, x’s and triangles, parallel lines and spirals. Your people know what they mean. You also use them on tools and jewelry. And then you vanish—and with you, their meanings. Join renowned archaeologist Genevieve von Petzinger on an Indiana Jones-worthy adventure from the open-air rock art sites of northern Portugal to the dark depths of a remote cave in Spain that can only be reached by sliding face-first through the mud. Von Petzinger looks past the beautiful horses, powerful bison, graceful ibex, and faceless humans in the ancient paintings. Instead, she’s obsessed with the abstract geometric images that accompany them, the terse symbols that appear more often than any other kinds of figures—signs that have never really been studied or explained until now. Part travel journal, part popular science, part personal narrative, von Petzinger’s groundbreaking book starts to crack the code on the first form of graphic communication. It’s in her blood, as this talented scientist’s grandmother served as a code-breaker at Bletchley. Discernible patterns emerge that point to abstract thought and expression, and for the first time, we can begin to understand the changes that might have been happening inside the minds of our Ice Age ancestors—offering a glimpse of when they became us.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.2/5

Written in Stone: A Journey Through the Stone Age and the Origins of Modern Language by Christopher Stevens

Half the world’s population speaks a language that has evolved from a single, prehistoric mother tongue. A mother tongue first spoken in Stone Age times, on the steppes of central Eurasia 6,500 years ago. It was so effective that it flourished for two thousand years. It was a language that spread from the shores of the Black Sea across almost all of Europe and much of Asia Half the world’s population speaks a language that has evolved from a single, prehistoric mother tongue. A mother tongue first spoken in Stone Age times, on the steppes of central Eurasia 6,500 years ago. It was so effective that it flourished for two thousand years. It was a language that spread from the shores of the Black Sea across almost all of Europe and much of Asia. It is the genetic basis of everything we speak and write today—the DNA of language. Written in Stone combines detective work, mythology, ancient history, archaeology, the roots of society, technology and warfare, and the sheer fascination of words to explore that original mother tongue, sketching the connections woven throughout the immense vocabulary of English—with some surprising results. In snappy, lively and often very funny chapters, it uncovers the most influential and important words used by our Neolithic ancestors, and shows how they are still in constant use today—the building blocks of all our most common words and phrases.
I WANT TO READ THIS

5/5

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes by Svante Pääbo

What can we learn from the genomes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pääbo’s mission to answer this question, and recounts his ultimately successful efforts to genetically define what makes us different from our Neanderthal cousins. Beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminatin What can we learn from the genomes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pääbo’s mission to answer this question, and recounts his ultimately successful efforts to genetically define what makes us different from our Neanderthal cousins. Beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome in 2010, Neanderthal Man describes the events, intrigues, failures, and triumphs of these scientifically rich years through the lens of the pioneer and inventor of the field of ancient DNA. We learn that Neanderthal genes offer a unique window into the lives of our hominin relatives and may hold the key to unlocking the mystery of why humans survived while Neanderthals went extinct. Drawing on genetic and fossil clues, Pääbo explores what is known about the origin of modern humans and their relationship to the Neanderthals and describes the fierce debate surrounding the nature of the two species’ interactions. His findings have not only redrawn our family tree, but recast the fundamentals of human history—the biological beginnings of fully modern Homo sapiens, the direct ancestors of all people alive today. A riveting story about a visionary researcher and the nature of scientific inquiry, Neanderthal Man offers rich insight into the fundamental question of who we are.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.9/5

Home: A Time Traveller's Tales from Britain's Prehistory by Francis Pryor

In Home Francis Pryor, author of The Making of the British Landscape, archaeologist and broadcaster, takes us on his lifetime's quest: to discover the origins of family life in prehistoric Britain Francis Pryor's search for the origins of our island story has been the quest of a lifetime. In Home, the Time Team expert explores the first nine thousand years of life in Britai In Home Francis Pryor, author of The Making of the British Landscape, archaeologist and broadcaster, takes us on his lifetime's quest: to discover the origins of family life in prehistoric Britain Francis Pryor's search for the origins of our island story has been the quest of a lifetime. In Home, the Time Team expert explores the first nine thousand years of life in Britain, from the retreat of the glaciers to the Romans' departure. Tracing the settlement of domestic communities, he shows how archaeology enables us to reconstruct the evolution of habits, traditions and customs. But this, too, is Francis Pryor's own story: of his passion for unearthing our past, from Yorkshire to the west country, Lincolnshire to Wales, digging in freezing winters, arid summers, mud and hurricanes, through frustrated journeys and euphoric discoveries. Evocative and intimate, Home shows how, in going about their daily existence, our prehistoric ancestors created the institution that remains at the heart of the way we live now: the family. 'Under his gaze, the land starts to fill with tribes and clans wandering this way and that, leaving traces that can still be seen today . . . Pryor feels the land rather than simply knowing it' - Guardian Former president of the Council for British Archaeology, Dr Francis Pryor has spent over thirty years studying our prehistory. He has excavated sites as diverse as Bronze Age farms, field systems and entire Iron Age villages. He appears frequently on TV's Time Team and is the author of The Making of the British Landscape, Seahenge, as well as Britain BC and Britain AD, both of which he adapted and presented as Channel 4 series. Show More Show Less
I WANT TO READ THIS

3.9/5

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel's magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear. A natur This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel's magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear. A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly--she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza's way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.2/5

The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel

This unforgettable odyssey into the distant past carries us back to the awesome mysteries of the exotic, primeval world of The Clan of the Cave Bear, and to Ayla, now grown into a beautiful and courageous young woman. Cruelly cast out by the new leader of the ancient Clan that adopted her as a child, Ayla leaves those she loves behind and travels alone through a stark, open This unforgettable odyssey into the distant past carries us back to the awesome mysteries of the exotic, primeval world of The Clan of the Cave Bear, and to Ayla, now grown into a beautiful and courageous young woman. Cruelly cast out by the new leader of the ancient Clan that adopted her as a child, Ayla leaves those she loves behind and travels alone through a stark, open land filled with dangerous animals but few people, searching for the Others, tall and fair like herself. The short summer gives her little time to look, and when she finds a sheltered valley with a herd of hardy steppe horses, she decides to stay and prepare for the long glacial winter ahead. Living with the Clan has taught Ayla many skills but not real hunting. She finally knows she can survive when she traps a horse, which gives her meat and a warm pelt for the winter, but fate has bestowed a greater gift, an orphaned foal with whom she develops a unique kinship. One winter extends to more; she discovers a way to make fire more quickly and a wounded cave lion cub joins her unusual family, but her beloved animals don't fulfill her restless need for human companionship. Then she hears the sound of a man screaming in pain. She saves tall, handsome Jondalar, who brings her a language to speak and an awakening of love and desire, but Ayla is torn between her fear of leaving her valley and her hope of living with her own kind.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.7/5

The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel , 殷麗君 (Translator)

Once again Jean M. Auel opens the door of a time long past to reveal an age of wonder and danger at the dawn of the modern human race. With all the consummate storytelling artistry and vivid authenticity she brought to The Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequel, The Valley of Horses, Jean M. Auel continues the breathtaking epic journey of the woman called Ayla. Riding Whinne Once again Jean M. Auel opens the door of a time long past to reveal an age of wonder and danger at the dawn of the modern human race. With all the consummate storytelling artistry and vivid authenticity she brought to The Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequel, The Valley of Horses, Jean M. Auel continues the breathtaking epic journey of the woman called Ayla. Riding Whinney with Jondalar, the man she loves, and followed by the mare’s colt, Ayla ventures into the land of the Mamutoi--the Mammoth Hunters. She has finally found the Others she has been seeking. Though Ayla must learn their different customs and language, she is adopted because of her remarkable hunting ability, singular healing skills, and uncanny fire-making technique. Bringing back the single pup of a lone wolf she has killed, Ayla shows the way she tames animals. She finds women friends and painful memories of the Clan she left behind, and meets Ranec, the dark-skinned, magnetic master carver of ivory, whom she cannot refuse--inciting Jondalar to a fierce jealousy that he tries to control by avoiding her. Unfamiliar with the ways of the Others, Ayla misunderstands, and thinking Jondalar no longer loves her, she turns more to Ranec. Throughout the icy winter the tension mounts, but warming weather will bring the great mammoth hunt and the mating rituals of the Summer Meeting, when Ayla must choose to remain with Ranec and the Mamutoi, or to follow Jondalar on a long journey into an unknown future.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.8/5

The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World by David W. Anthony

Roughly half the world's population speaks languages derived from a shared linguistic source known as Proto-Indo-European. But who were the early speakers of this ancient mother tongue, and how did they manage to spread it around the globe? Until now their identity has remained a tantalizing mystery to linguists, archaeologists, and even Nazis seeking the roots of the Arya Roughly half the world's population speaks languages derived from a shared linguistic source known as Proto-Indo-European. But who were the early speakers of this ancient mother tongue, and how did they manage to spread it around the globe? Until now their identity has remained a tantalizing mystery to linguists, archaeologists, and even Nazis seeking the roots of the Aryan race. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language lifts the veil that has long shrouded these original Indo-European speakers, and reveals how their domestication of horses and use of the wheel spread language and transformed civilization. Linking prehistoric archaeological remains with the development of language, David Anthony identifies the prehistoric peoples of central Eurasia's steppe grasslands as the original speakers of Proto-Indo-European, and shows how their innovative use of the ox wagon, horseback riding, and the warrior's chariot turned the Eurasian steppes into a thriving transcontinental corridor of communication, commerce, and cultural exchange. He explains how they spread their traditions and gave rise to important advances in copper mining, warfare, and patron-client political institutions, thereby ushering in an era of vibrant social change. Anthony also describes his fascinating discovery of how the wear from bits on ancient horse teeth reveals the origins of horseback riding. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language solves a puzzle that has vexed scholars for two centuries--the source of the Indo-European languages and English--and recovers a magnificent and influential civilization from the past.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.6/5

The Shelters of Stone by Jean M. Auel

The Shelters of Stone opens as Ayla and Jondalar, along with their animal friends, Wolf, Whinney, and Racer, complete their epic journey across Europe and are greeted by Jondalar's people: the Zelandonii. The people of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii fascinate Ayla. Their clothes, customs, artifacts, even their homes formed in great cliffs of vertical limestone are a sour The Shelters of Stone opens as Ayla and Jondalar, along with their animal friends, Wolf, Whinney, and Racer, complete their epic journey across Europe and are greeted by Jondalar's people: the Zelandonii. The people of the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii fascinate Ayla. Their clothes, customs, artifacts, even their homes formed in great cliffs of vertical limestone are a source of wonder to her. And in the woman Zelandoni, the spiritual leader of the Ninth Cave (and the one who initiated Jondalar into the Gift of Pleasure), she meets a fellow healer with whom to share her knowledge and skills. But as Ayla and Jondalar prepare for the formal mating at the Summer Meeting, there are difficulties. Not all the Zelandonii are welcoming. Some fear Ayla's unfamiliar ways and abhor her relationship with those they call flatheads and she calls Clan. Some even oppose her mating with Jondalar, and make their displeasure known. Ayla has to call on all her skills, intelligence, knowledge, and instincts to find her way in this complicated society, to prepare for the birth of her child, and to decide whether she will accept new challenges and play a significant role in the destiny of the Zelandonii. Jean Auel is at her very best in this superbly textured creation of a prehistoric society. The Shelters of Stone is a sweeping story of love and danger, with all the wonderful detail based on meticulous research that makes her novels unique. It is a triumphant continuation of the Earth's Children saga that began with The Clan of the Cave Bear. And it includes an amazing rhythmic poem that describes the birth of Earth's Children and plays its own role in the narrative of The Shelters of Stone.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.5/5

After the Ice: A Global Human History, 20,000-5000 BC by Steven Mithen

20,000 B.C., the peak of the last ice age--the atmosphere is heavy with dust, deserts, and glaciers span vast regions, and people, if they survive at all, exist in small, mobile groups, facing the threat of extinction. But these people live on the brink of seismic change--10,000 years of climate shifts culminating in abrupt global warming that will usher in a fundamentally 20,000 B.C., the peak of the last ice age--the atmosphere is heavy with dust, deserts, and glaciers span vast regions, and people, if they survive at all, exist in small, mobile groups, facing the threat of extinction. But these people live on the brink of seismic change--10,000 years of climate shifts culminating in abrupt global warming that will usher in a fundamentally changed human world. After the Ice is the story of this momentous period--one in which a seemingly minor alteration in temperature could presage anything from the spread of lush woodland to the coming of apocalyptic floods--and one in which we find the origins of civilization itself. Drawing on the latest research in archaeology, human genetics, and environmental science, After the Ice takes the reader on a sweeping tour of 15,000 years of human history. Steven Mithen brings this world to life through the eyes of an imaginary modern traveler--John Lubbock, namesake of the great Victorian polymath and author of Prehistoric Times. With Lubbock, readers visit and observe communities and landscapes, experiencing prehistoric life--from aboriginal hunting parties in Tasmania, to the corralling of wild sheep in the central Sahara, to the efforts of the Guila Naquitz people in Oaxaca to combat drought with agricultural innovations. Part history, part science, part time travel, After the Ice offers an evocative and uniquely compelling portrayal of diverse cultures, lives, and landscapes that laid the foundations of the modern world.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.9/5

The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel

Jean M. Auel’s enthralling Earth’s Children® series has become a literary phenomenon, beloved by readers around the world. In a brilliant novel as vividly authentic and entertaining as those that came before, Jean M. Auel returns us to the earliest days of humankind and to the captivating adventures of the courageous woman called Ayla. With her companion, Jondalar, Ayla s Jean M. Auel’s enthralling Earth’s Children® series has become a literary phenomenon, beloved by readers around the world. In a brilliant novel as vividly authentic and entertaining as those that came before, Jean M. Auel returns us to the earliest days of humankind and to the captivating adventures of the courageous woman called Ayla. With her companion, Jondalar, Ayla sets out on her most dangerous and daring journey--away from the welcoming hearths of the Mammoth Hunters and into the unknown. Their odyssey spans a beautiful but sparsely populated and treacherous continent, the windswept grasslands of Ice Age Europe, casting the pair among strangers. Some will be intrigued by Ayla and Jondalar, with their many innovative skills, including the taming of wild horses and a wolf; others will avoid them, threatened by what they cannot understand; and some will threaten them. But Ayla, with no memory of her own people, and Jondalar, with a hunger to return to his, are impelled by their own deep drives to continue their trek across the spectacular heart of an unmapped world to find that place they can both call home.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.8/5

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, tim 100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power ... and our future.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.4/5

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel

In The land of Painted Caves, Jean M. Auel brings the ice-age epic Earth's Children series to an extraordinary conclusion. Ayla, one of the most remarkable and beloved heroines in contemporary fiction, continues to explore the world and the people around her with curiosity, insight, and above all, courage. As the story opens, Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonay In The land of Painted Caves, Jean M. Auel brings the ice-age epic Earth's Children series to an extraordinary conclusion. Ayla, one of the most remarkable and beloved heroines in contemporary fiction, continues to explore the world and the people around her with curiosity, insight, and above all, courage. As the story opens, Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonayla are welcomed by the Zelandonii, but problems arise. They are faced with new challenges, not just the ordinary trials of sheer survival, but the complications posed by many groups of people who need to live and work together. The wisdom that Ayla gained from her struggles as an orphaned child, alone in a hostile environment, strengthens her as she moves closer to leadership of the Zelandonia. Ayla and Jondalar's first priority is the care for their golden-haired child, Jonayla, and the well-being of their amazing animals, Wolf, Whinney, Racer, and Gray. The two participate in hunts to provide food, in travels to Summer Meetings for decision making, and in social activities. Whatever the obstacles, Ayla's inventive spirit produces new ways to lessen the difficulties of daily life: searching for wild edibles to make delicious meals, experimenting with techniques to ease the long journeys the Zelandoni must take, honing her skills as a healer and a leader. And then, there are the Sacred Caves, the caves that Ayla's mentor--the Donier, the First of the Zelandonia--takes her to see. These caves are filled with remarkable art--paintings of mammoths, lions, aurochs, rhinoceros, reindeer, bison, bear. The powerful, mystical aura within these caves sometimes overwhelms Ayla. Ayla's final preparations for her initiation as a Zelandoni bring The Land of Painted Caves to a riveting climax. So much time apart from Jondalar has caused him to drift away from her. The rituals themselves bring her close to death. But through those rituals, Ayla gains A Gift of Knowledge so important that it will change the world. Spellbinding drama, meticulous research, fascinating detail, and superb narrative skill combine to make The Land of Painted Caves a captivating, utterly believable creation of a civilization that resonates long after the reader has turned the last page, and serves as an astonishing end to this beloved saga.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4/5

Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas J. Wade

Nicholas Wade's articles are a major reason why the science section has become the most popular, nationwide, in the New York Times. In his groundbreaking Before the Dawn, Wade reveals humanity's origins as never before--a journey made possible only recently by genetic science, whose incredible findings have answered such questions as: What was the first human language like Nicholas Wade's articles are a major reason why the science section has become the most popular, nationwide, in the New York Times. In his groundbreaking Before the Dawn, Wade reveals humanity's origins as never before--a journey made possible only recently by genetic science, whose incredible findings have answered such questions as: What was the first human language like? How large were the first societies, and how warlike were they? When did our ancestors first leave Africa, and by what route did they leave? By eloquently solving these and numerous other mysteries, Wade offers nothing less than a uniquely complete retelling of a story that began 500 centuries ago.
I WANT TO READ THIS

3.8/5

People of the Wolf by W. Michael Gear , Kathleen O'Neal Gear

In the dawn of history, a valiant people forged a pathway from an old world into a new one. Led by a dreamer who followed the spirit of the wolf, a handful of courageous men and women dared to cross the frozen wastes to find an untouched, unspoiled continent. Set in what is now Alaska, this is the magnificent saga of the vision-filled man who led his people to an awesome d In the dawn of history, a valiant people forged a pathway from an old world into a new one. Led by a dreamer who followed the spirit of the wolf, a handful of courageous men and women dared to cross the frozen wastes to find an untouched, unspoiled continent. Set in what is now Alaska, this is the magnificent saga of the vision-filled man who led his people to an awesome destiny, and the courageous woman whose love and bravery drove them on in pursuit of that dream. A sweeping epic of prehistory, People of the Wolf is another compelling novel in the majestic North America's Forgotten Past series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear
I WANT TO READ THIS

5/5

Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans by Brian M. Fagan

Cro-Magnons were the first fully modern Europeans?not only the creators of the stunning cave paintings at Lascaux and elsewhere, but the most adaptable and technologically inventive people that had yet lived on earth. The prolonged encounter between the Cro-Magnons and the archaic Neanderthals and between 45,000 and 30,000 years ago was one of the defining moments of histo Cro-Magnons were the first fully modern Europeans?not only the creators of the stunning cave paintings at Lascaux and elsewhere, but the most adaptable and technologically inventive people that had yet lived on earth. The prolonged encounter between the Cro-Magnons and the archaic Neanderthals and between 45,000 and 30,000 years ago was one of the defining moments of history. The Neanderthals survived for some 15,000 years in the face of the newcomers, but were finally pushed aside by the Cro-Magnons' vastly superior intellectual abilities and cutting-edge technologies, which allowed them to thrive in the intensely challenging climate of the Ice Age. What do we know about this remarkable takeover? Who were the first modern Europeans and what were they like? How did they manage to thrive in such an extreme environment? And what legacy did they leave behind them after the cold millennia? The age of the Cro-Magnons lasted some 30,000 years?longer than all of recorded history. Cro-Magnon is the story of a little known, yet seminal, chapter of human experience.
I WANT TO READ THIS

5/5

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

"Diamond has written a book of remarkable scope ... one of the most important and readable works on the human past published in recent years." Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a national bestseller: the global account of the rise of civilization that is also a stunning refutation of ideas of human development based on race. In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (Will "Diamond has written a book of remarkable scope ... one of the most important and readable works on the human past published in recent years." Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a national bestseller: the global account of the rise of civilization that is also a stunning refutation of ideas of human development based on race. In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed writing, technology, government, and organized religion—as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war—and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth Club of California's Gold Medal
I WANT TO READ THIS

3.9/5

The Inheritors by William Golding

When the spring came the people - what was left of them - moved back by the old paths from the sea. But this year strange things were happening, terrifying things that had never happened before. Inexplicable sounds and smells; new, unimaginable creatures half glimpsed through the leaves. What the people didn't, and perhaps never would, know, was that the day of their peopl When the spring came the people - what was left of them - moved back by the old paths from the sea. But this year strange things were happening, terrifying things that had never happened before. Inexplicable sounds and smells; new, unimaginable creatures half glimpsed through the leaves. What the people didn't, and perhaps never would, know, was that the day of their people was already over. From the author of Lord of the Flies, The Inheritors is a startling recreation of the lost world of the Neanderthals, and a frightening vision of the beginning of a new age.
I WANT TO READ THIS

4.3/5

The Humans Who Went Extinct: Why Neanderthals Died Out and We Survived by Clive Finlayson

Just 28,000 years ago, the blink of an eye in geological time, the last of Neanderthals died out in their last outpost, in caves near Gibraltar. Thanks to cartoons and folk accounts we have a distorted view of these other humans - for that is what they were. We think of them as crude and clumsy and not very bright, easily driven to extinction by the lithe, smart modern hum Just 28,000 years ago, the blink of an eye in geological time, the last of Neanderthals died out in their last outpost, in caves near Gibraltar. Thanks to cartoons and folk accounts we have a distorted view of these other humans - for that is what they were. We think of them as crude and clumsy and not very bright, easily driven to extinction by the lithe, smart modern humans that came out of Africa some 100,000 years ago. But was it really as simple as that? Clive Finlayson reminds us that the Neanderthals were another kind of human, and their culture was not so very different from that of our own ancestors. In this book, he presents a wider view of the events that led to the migration of the moderns into Europe, what might have happened during the contact of the two populations, and what finally drove the Neanderthals to extinction. It is a view that considers climate, ecology, and migrations of populations, as well as culture and interaction. His conclusion is that the destiny of the Neanderthals and the Moderns was sealed by ecological factors and contingencies. It was a matter of luck that we survived and spread while the Neanderthals dwindled and perished. Had the climate not changed in our favour some 50 million years ago, things would have been very different. There is much current research interest in Neanderthals, much of it driven by attempts to map some of their DNA. But it's not just a question of studying the DNA. The rise and fall of populations is profoundly moulded by the larger scale forces of climate and ecology. And it is only by taking this wider view that we can fully understand the course of events that led to our survival and their demise. The fact that Neanderthals survived until virtually yesterday makes our relationship with them and their tragedy even more poignant. They almost made it, after all.
I WANT TO READ THIS