Archaeology and Humanity s Story

Archaeology and Humanity s Story
Author: Deborah I. Olszewski
Publsiher: Oxford University Press, USA
Total Pages: 528
Release: 2015-11-13
ISBN 10: 9780199764563
ISBN 13: 0199764565
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Archaeology and Humanity s Story Book Review:

This student-friendly textbook introduces the archaeological past from approximately seven million years ago through later politically complex societies. Archaeology and Humanity's Story: A Brief Introduction to World Prehistory does not attempt to discuss every archaeologically important site and development in prehistory and early history. Rather, it presents key issues from earlier prehistory and then organizes the chapters on politically complex societies using a similar framework. This allows students to easily compare and contrast different geographical regions. Each of these chapters also highlights a specific case study in which similar themes are examined, such as the written word; resource networks, trade, and exchange; social life; ritual and religion; and warfare and violence. Each chapter includes several sidebar boxes, a timeline showing the chronology relevant to that chapter, and "The Big Picture," "Peopling the Past," and "Evolutionary Processes" features.

Archaeology and Humanity s Story

Archaeology and Humanity s Story
Author: Deborah I. Olszewski
Publsiher: Oxford University Press, USA
Total Pages: 600
Release: 2019
ISBN 10: 9780190930127
ISBN 13: 0190930128
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Archaeology and Humanity s Story Book Review:

This student-friendly textbook introduces the archaeological past from approximately seven million years ago through later politically complex societies. Now fully updated in its second edition, Archaeology and Humanity's Story: A Brief Introduction to World Prehistory does not attempt to discuss every archaeologically important site and development in prehistory and early history. Rather, it presents key issues from earlier prehistory and then organizes the chapters on politically complex societies using a similar framework. This allows students to easily compare and contrast different geographical regions. Each of these chapters also highlights a specific case study in which similar themes are examined, such as the written word; resource networks, trade, and exchange; social life; ritual and religion; and warfare and violence. Each chapter includes several sidebar boxes, a timeline showing the chronology relevant to that chapter, and "The Big Picture," "Peopling the Past," and "Further Reflections" features.

Archaeology from Space

Archaeology from Space
Author: Sarah Parcak
Publsiher: Henry Holt and Company
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2019-07-09
ISBN 10: 1250198291
ISBN 13: 9781250198297
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Archaeology from Space Book Review:

National Geographic Explorer and TED Prize-winner Dr. Sarah Parcak welcomes you to the exciting new world of space archaeology, a growing field that is sparking extraordinary discoveries from ancient civilizations across the globe. In Archaeology from Space, Sarah Parcak shows the evolution, major discoveries, and future potential of the young field of satellite archaeology. From surprise advancements after the declassification of spy photography, to a new map of the mythical Egyptian city of Tanis, she shares her field’s biggest discoveries, revealing why space archaeology is not only exciting, but urgently essential to the preservation of the world’s ancient treasures. Parcak has worked in twelve countries and four continents, using multispectral and high-resolution satellite imagery to identify thousands of previously unknown settlements, roads, fortresses, palaces, tombs, and even potential pyramids. From there, her stories take us back in time and across borders, into the day-to-day lives of ancient humans whose traits and genes we share. And she shows us that if we heed the lessons of the past, we can shape a vibrant future. Includes Illustrations

Patterns in Prehistory

Patterns in Prehistory
Author: Robert J. Wenke
Publsiher: Unknown
Total Pages: 614
Release: 1990
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13: UOM:39015018934144
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Patterns in Prehistory Book Review:

World Prehistory

World Prehistory
Author: Brian M. Fagan,Nadia Durrani
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 454
Release: 2016-09-13
ISBN 10: 1317279093
ISBN 13: 9781317279099
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

World Prehistory Book Review:

This popular introductory textbook provides an overview of more than 3 million years of human prehistory. Written in an accessible and jargon-free style, this engaging volume tells the story of humanity from our beginnings in tropical Africa up to the advent of the world’s first urban civilizations. A truly global account, World Prehistory surveys the latest advances in the study of human origins and describes the great diaspora of modern humans in the millennia which followed as they settled Europe, Asia and the Americas. Later chapters consider seminal milestones in prehistory: the origins of food production, the colonization of the offshore Pacific and the development of the first more complex human societies based, for the most part, on agriculture and stock raising. Finally, Fagan and Durrani examine the prevailing theories regarding early state-organized societies and the often flamboyant, usually volatile, pre-industrial civilizations which developed in the Old World and the Americas. Fully updated to reflect new research, controversies, and theoretical debates, this unique book continues to be an ideal resource for the beginner first approaching archaeology. Drawing on the experience of two established writers in the field, World Prehistory is a respected classic which acquaints students with the fascinations of human prehistory.

People of the Earth

People of the Earth
Author: Brian M. Fagan,Nadia Durrani
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 560
Release: 2015-08-26
ISBN 10: 1317346823
ISBN 13: 9781317346821
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

People of the Earth Book Review:

Understand major developments of human prehistory People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory 14/e, provides an exciting journey though the 7-million-year-old panorama of humankind's past. This internationally renowned text provides the only truly global account of human prehistory from the earliest times through the earliest civilizations. Written in an accessible way for beginning students, People of the Earth shows how today's diverse humanity developed biologically and culturally over millions of years against a background of constant climatic change.

Kindred

Kindred
Author: Rebecca Wragg Sykes
Publsiher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2020-08-20
ISBN 10: 1472937481
ISBN 13: 9781472937483
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Kindred Book Review:

'Beautiful, evocative, authoritative.' Professor Brian Cox 'Important reading not just for anyone interested in these ancient cousins of ours, but also for anyone interested in humanity.' Yuval Noah Harari Kindred is the definitive guide to the Neanderthals. Since their discovery more than 160 years ago, Neanderthals have metamorphosed from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins.Rebecca Wragg Sykes uses her experience at the cutting-edge of Palaeolithic research to share our new understanding of Neanderthals, shoving aside clichés of rag-clad brutes in an icy wasteland. She reveals them to be curious, clever connoisseurs of their world, technologically inventive and ecologically adaptable. Above all, they were successful survivors for more than 300,000 years, during times of massive climatic upheaval. Much of what defines us was also in Neanderthals, and their DNA is still inside us. Planning, co-operation, altruism, craftsmanship, aesthetic sense, imagination, perhaps even a desire for transcendence beyond mortality. Kindred does for Neanderthals what Sapiens did for us, revealing a deeper, more nuanced story where humanity itself is our ancient, shared inheritance.

Ancient Lives

Ancient Lives
Author: Dr. Brian Fagan
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 528
Release: 2016-01-20
ISBN 10: 1317350278
ISBN 13: 9781317350279
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Ancient Lives Book Review:

Theory and Methods in Archaeology and Prehistory Written for complete beginners in a narrative style, Ancient Lives is aimed at introductory courses in archaeology and prehistory that cover archaeological methods and theory, as well as world prehistory. The first half of Ancient Lives covers the basic principles, methods, and theoretical approaches of archaeology. The second half is devoted to a summary of the major developments of human prehistory: the origins of humankind and the archaic world, the origins and spread of modern humans, the emergence of food production, and the beginnings of civilization. Learning Goals Upon completing this book, readers should be able to: Understand the basic principles of archaeology Summarize the major developments of human prehistory

People Plants Genes

People  Plants   Genes
Author: Denis J Murphy
Publsiher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Total Pages: 401
Release: 2007-07-19
ISBN 10: 0199207135
ISBN 13: 9780199207138
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

People Plants Genes Book Review:

This book links the latest advances in molecular genetics with the science and history of plant domestication, the evolution of plant breeding, and the implications of our new knowledge for the agriculture of today and the future.

Humankind

Humankind
Author: Rutger Bregman
Publsiher: Little, Brown
Total Pages: 480
Release: 2020-06-02
ISBN 10: 0316418552
ISBN 13: 9780316418553
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Humankind Book Review:

From New York Times bestselling author of Utopia for Realists comes a "bold" (Daniel H. Pink) and "extraordinary" (Susan Cain) argument that humans thrive in a crisis and that our innate kindness and cooperation have been the greatest factors in our long-term success on the planet. If there is one belief that has united the left and the right, psychologists and philosophers, ancient thinkers and modern ones, it is the tacit assumption that humans are bad. It's a notion that drives newspaper headlines and guides the laws that shape our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest. But what if it isn't true? International bestseller Rutger Bregman provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another. In fact this instinct has a firm evolutionary basis going back to the beginning of Homo sapiens. From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the solidarity in the aftermath of the Blitz, the hidden flaws in the Stanford prison experiment to the true story of twin brothers on opposite sides who helped Mandela end apartheid, Bregman shows us that believing in human generosity and collaboration isn't merely optimistic—it's realistic. Moreover, it has huge implications for how society functions. When we think the worst of people, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics. But if we believe in the reality of humanity's kindness and altruism, it will form the foundation for achieving true change in society, a case that Bregman makes convincingly with his signature wit, refreshing frankness, and memorable storytelling. Instant New York Times Bestseller. "The Sapiens of 2020." —The Guardian "Humankind made me see humanity from a fresh perspective." —Yuval Noah Harari, author of the #1 bestseller Sapiens Longlisted for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction One of the Washington Post's 50 Notable Nonfiction Works in 2020

Sapiens

Sapiens
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publsiher: Signal
Total Pages: 512
Release: 2014-10-28
ISBN 10: 0771038526
ISBN 13: 9780771038525
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Sapiens Book Review:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Destined to become a modern classic in the vein of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Sapiens is a lively, groundbreaking history of humankind told from a unique perspective. 100,000 years ago, at least six species of human 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, palaeontology, 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.

Humans A Brief History of How We F cked It All Up

Humans  A Brief History of How We F cked It All Up
Author: Tom Phillips
Publsiher: Harlequin
Total Pages: 329
Release: 2019-05-07
ISBN 10: 1488051135
ISBN 13: 9781488051135
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Humans A Brief History of How We F cked It All Up Book Review:

Modern humans have come a long way in the seventy thousand years they’ve walked the earth. Art, science, culture, trade—on the evolutionary food chain, we’re true winners. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, and sometimes—just occasionally—we’ve managed to truly f*ck things up. Weaving together history, science, politics and pop culture, Humans offers a panoramic exploration of humankind in all its glory, or lack thereof. From Lucy, our first ancestor, who fell out of a tree and died, to General Zhou Shou of China, who stored gunpowder in his palace before a lantern festival, to the Austrian army attacking itself one drunken night, to the most spectacular fails of the present day, Humans reveals how even the most mundane mistakes can shift the course of civilization as we know it. Lively, wry and brimming with brilliant insight, this unique compendium offers a fresh take on world history and is one of the most entertaining reads of the year.

Dr Space Junk vs The Universe

Dr Space Junk vs The Universe
Author: Alice Gorman
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2019-10-22
ISBN 10: 0262357135
ISBN 13: 9780262357135
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Dr Space Junk vs The Universe Book Review:

A pioneering space archaeologist explores artifacts left behind in space and on Earth, from moon dust to Elon Musk's red sports car. Alice Gorman is a space archaeologist: she examines the artifacts of human encounters with space. These objects, left behind on Earth and in space, can be massive (dead satellites in eternal orbit) or tiny (discarded zip ties around a defunct space antenna). They can be bold (an American flag on the moon) or hopeful (messages from Earth sent into deep space). They raise interesting questions: Why did Elon Musk feel compelled to send a red Tesla into space? What accounts for the multiple rocket-themed playgrounds constructed after the Russians launched Sputnik? Gorman—affectionately known as “Dr Space Junk” —takes readers on a journey through the solar system and beyond, deploying space artifacts, historical explorations, and even the occasional cocktail recipe in search of the ways that we make space meaningful. Engaging and erudite, Gorman recounts her background as a (nonspace) archaeologist and how she became interested in space artifacts. She shows us her own piece of space junk: a fragment of the fuel tank insulation from Skylab, the NASA spacecraft that crash-landed in Western Australia in 1979. She explains that the conventional view of the space race as “the triumph of the white, male American astronaut” seems inadequate; what really interests her, she says, is how everyday people engage with space. To an archaeologist, objects from the past are significant because they remind us of what we might want to hold on to in the future.

Mixed Harvest

Mixed Harvest
Author: Rob Swigart
Publsiher: Berghahn Books
Total Pages: 224
Release: 2019-12-01
ISBN 10: 178920612X
ISBN 13: 9781789206128
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Mixed Harvest Book Review:

In unforgettable stories of the human journey, a combination of storytelling and dialog underscore an excavation into the deep past of human development and its consequences. Through a first encounter between a Neanderthal woman and the Modern Human she called Traveler, to the emergence and destruction of the world’s first cities, Mixed Harvest tells the tale of the Sedentary Divide, the most significant event since modern humans emerged. Rob Swigart’s latest work humanizes the rapid transition to agriculture and pastoralism with a grounding in the archaeological record.

The Story of Peking Man

The Story of Peking Man
Author: Jia Jia Lanpo,Lan-pʻo Chia,Lanpo Jia,Member of the Division of Earth Sciences and Research Fellow of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology Jia Lanpo,Huang Huang Weiwen,Weiwen Huang,Assistant Research Fellow Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology Huang Weiwen
Publsiher: Oxford University Press
Total Pages: 270
Release: 1990
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13: UOM:39015018876485
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Story of Peking Man Book Review:

Once a forlorn village fifty kilometers south of Beijing, Zhoukoudian (formerly Choukoutien) is today a virtual shrine to archaeology, a bustling community with its own highway extension, a major exhibit hall which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually, and one of the world's most famous fossil sites. Still active today, this site in seven decades has contributed immeasurably to our knowledge of prehistoric life. It boasts one of the richest fossil deposits found anywhere, ranging from the Early Pliocene to the Late Pleistocene, a span of three million years. It has provided some of the earliest evidence of fire usage ever uncovered. And most important, it is the home of Peking Man, whose discovery ranks as one of the great events in modern archaeology. Now, in The Story of Peking Man, one of China's foremost archaeologists, Jia Lanpo, offers a profusely illustrated history of Zhoukoudian, tracing its earliest discoveries and greatest moments, recounting the tragic events of World War II (Japanese soldiers murdered three archaeologists and the Peking Man fossils vanished under mysterious circumstances), and evaluating its overall importance. Lanpo spent over half a century at Zhoukoudian and he provides many fascinating, first-hand accounts of scientists at work, including such figures as Davidson Black, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Yang Zhongjian, Pei Wenzhong, and of course Lanpo himself. He describes how the abundance of "dragon bones"(fossils sold in herbal medicine shops) in Zhoukoudian first attracted Johan Gunnar Andersson, who began excavations there in 1918; the first major discovery, a human skullcap, found by Pei Wenzhong while digging by candlelight in a tiny cave; and Jia Lanpo's own discovery of a beautifully preserved skullcap in 1936. He vividly conveys the great excitement of an important find as well as the pressure to make major discoveries as funding runs low. And he reviews many of the theories and controversies surrounding Peking Man--Were they cannibals? Did they use bones as tools? Did humanity originate in Asia or Africa? Based on numerous unpublished sources, including field reports, personal letters and photographs, and Lanpo's own remembrances, The Story of Peking Man provides an inside look at a major archaeological site, one that will fascinate anyone interested in the origins of humanity.

Four Lost Cities A Secret History of the Urban Age

Four Lost Cities  A Secret History of the Urban Age
Author: Annalee Newitz
Publsiher: W. W. Norton & Company
Total Pages: 320
Release: 2021-02-02
ISBN 10: 039365267X
ISBN 13: 9780393652673
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Four Lost Cities A Secret History of the Urban Age Book Review:

One of Apple's Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021 A quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history—and figure out why people abandoned them. In Four Lost Cities, acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on an entertaining and mind-bending adventure into the deep history of urban life. Investigating across the centuries and around the world, Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy’s southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia, which stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today. Newitz travels to all four sites and investigates the cutting-edge research in archaeology, revealing the mix of environmental changes and political turmoil that doomed these ancient settlements. Tracing the early development of urban planning, Newitz also introduces us to the often anonymous workers—slaves, women, immigrants, and manual laborers—who built these cities and created monuments that lasted millennia. Four Lost Cities is a journey into the forgotten past, but, foreseeing a future in which the majority of people on Earth will be living in cities, it may also reveal something of our own fate.

How Language Began The Story of Humanity s Greatest Invention

How Language Began  The Story of Humanity s Greatest Invention
Author: Daniel L. Everett
Publsiher: Liveright Publishing
Total Pages: 384
Release: 2017-11-07
ISBN 10: 087140477X
ISBN 13: 9780871404770
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

How Language Began The Story of Humanity s Greatest Invention Book Review:

How Language Began revolutionizes our understanding of the one tool that has allowed us to become the "lords of the planet." Mankind has a distinct advantage over other terrestrial species: we talk to one another. But how did we acquire the most advanced form of communication on Earth? Daniel L. Everett, a “bombshell” linguist and “instant folk hero” (Tom Wolfe, Harper’s), provides in this sweeping history a comprehensive examination of the evolutionary story of language, from the earliest speaking attempts by hominids to the more than seven thousand languages that exist today. Although fossil hunters and linguists have brought us closer to unearthing the true origins of language, Daniel Everett’s discoveries have upended the contemporary linguistic world, reverberating far beyond academic circles. While conducting field research in the Amazonian rainforest, Everett came across an age-old language nestled amongst a tribe of hunter-gatherers. Challenging long-standing principles in the field, Everett now builds on the theory that language was not intrinsic to our species. In order to truly understand its origins, a more interdisciplinary approach is needed—one that accounts as much for our propensity for culture as it does our biological makeup. Language began, Everett theorizes, with Homo Erectus, who catalyzed words through culturally invented symbols. Early humans, as their brains grew larger, incorporated gestures and voice intonations to communicate, all of which built on each other for 60,000 generations. Tracing crucial shifts and developments across the ages, Everett breaks down every component of speech, from harnessing control of more than a hundred respiratory muscles in the larynx and diaphragm, to mastering the use of the tongue. Moving on from biology to execution, Everett explores why elements such as grammar and storytelling are not nearly as critical to language as one might suspect. In the book’s final section, Cultural Evolution of Language, Everett takes the ever-debated “language gap” to task, delving into the chasm that separates “us” from “the animals.” He approaches the subject from various disciplines, including anthropology, neuroscience, and archaeology, to reveal that it was social complexity, as well as cultural, physiological, and neurological superiority, that allowed humans—with our clawless hands, breakable bones, and soft skin—to become the apex predator. How Language Began ultimately explains what we know, what we’d like to know, and what we likely never will know about how humans went from mere communication to language. Based on nearly forty years of fieldwork, Everett debunks long-held theories by some of history’s greatest thinkers, from Plato to Chomsky. The result is an invaluable study of what makes us human.

The Bible Unearthed

The Bible Unearthed
Author: Israel Finkelstein,Neil Asher Silberman
Publsiher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 400
Release: 2002-03-06
ISBN 10: 0743223381
ISBN 13: 9780743223386
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Bible Unearthed Book Review:

In this groundbreaking work that sets apart fact and legend, authors Finkelstein and Silberman use significant archeological discoveries to provide historical information about biblical Israel and its neighbors. In this iconoclastic and provocative work, leading scholars Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman draw on recent archaeological research to present a dramatically revised portrait of ancient Israel and its neighbors. They argue that crucial evidence (or a telling lack of evidence) at digs in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon suggests that many of the most famous stories in the Bible—the wanderings of the patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, Joshua’s conquest of Canaan, and David and Solomon’s vast empire—reflect the world of the later authors rather than actual historical facts. Challenging the fundamentalist readings of the scriptures and marshaling the latest archaeological evidence to support its new vision of ancient Israel, The Bible Unearthed offers a fascinating and controversial perspective on when and why the Bible was written and why it possesses such great spiritual and emotional power today.

The Threat of Pandemic Influenza

The Threat of Pandemic Influenza
Author: Institute of Medicine,Board on Global Health,Forum on Microbial Threats
Publsiher: National Academies Press
Total Pages: 430
Release: 2005-04-09
ISBN 10: 0309095042
ISBN 13: 9780309095044
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Threat of Pandemic Influenza Book Review:

Public health officials and organizations around the world remain on high alert because of increasing concerns about the prospect of an influenza pandemic, which many experts believe to be inevitable. Moreover, recent problems with the availability and strain-specificity of vaccine for annual flu epidemics in some countries and the rise of pandemic strains of avian flu in disparate geographic regions have alarmed experts about the world's ability to prevent or contain a human pandemic. The workshop summary, The Threat of Pandemic Influenza: Are We Ready? addresses these urgent concerns. The report describes what steps the United States and other countries have taken thus far to prepare for the next outbreak of "killer flu." It also looks at gaps in readiness, including hospitals' inability to absorb a surge of patients and many nations' incapacity to monitor and detect flu outbreaks. The report points to the need for international agreements to share flu vaccine and antiviral stockpiles to ensure that the 88 percent of nations that cannot manufacture or stockpile these products have access to them. It chronicles the toll of the H5N1 strain of avian flu currently circulating among poultry in many parts of Asia, which now accounts for the culling of millions of birds and the death of at least 50 persons. And it compares the costs of preparations with the costs of illness and death that could arise during an outbreak.

The Age of Wood

The Age of Wood
Author: Roland Ennos
Publsiher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 336
Release: 2020-12-01
ISBN 10: 1982114754
ISBN 13: 9781982114756
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Age of Wood Book Review:

A groundbreaking examination of the role that wood and trees have played in our global ecosystem—including human evolution and the rise and fall of empires—in the bestselling tradition of Yuval Harari’s Sapiens and Mark Kurlansky’s Salt. As the dominant species on Earth, humans have made astonishing progress since our ancestors came down from the trees. But how did the descendants of small primates manage to walk upright, become top predators, and populate the world? How were humans able to develop civilizations and produce a globalized economy? Now, in The Age of Wood, Roland Ennos shows for the first time that the key to our success has been our relationship with wood. Brilliantly synthesizing recent research with existing knowledge in fields as wide-ranging as primatology, anthropology, archaeology, history, architecture, engineering, and carpentry, Ennos reinterprets human history and shows how our ability to exploit wood’s unique properties has profoundly shaped our bodies and minds, societies, and lives. He takes us on a sweeping ten-million-year journey from Southeast Asia and West Africa where great apes swing among the trees, build nests, and fashion tools; to East Africa where hunter gatherers collected their food; to the structural design of wooden temples in China and Japan; and to Northern England, where archaeologists trace how coal enabled humans to build an industrial world. Addressing the effects of industrialization—including the use of fossil fuels and other energy-intensive materials to replace timber—The Age of Wood not only shows the essential role that trees play in the history and evolution of human existence, but also argues that for the benefit of our planet we must return to more traditional ways of growing, using, and understanding trees. A winning blend of history and science, this is a fascinating and authoritative work for anyone interested in nature, the environment, and the making of the world as we know it.