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161. The Glorious Traditions of Chinese
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162. Richard Wetherill Anasazi
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163. Unearthing Atlantis: : An Archaeological
164. The Treasures of Darkness: A History
165. The Origin Map: Discovery of a
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166. Early Dynastic Egypt: Strategies,
167. Life, Death, and Entertainment
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168. The Cities of Ancient Mexico:
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169. Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies
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170. Ancient Micronesia & the Lost
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171. The Ecology of Power: Culture,
172. Journal of Roman Military Equipment
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173. The Complete Idiot's Guide to
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174. Ancient Mesopotamia
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175. The Aegean Bronze Age (Cambridge
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176. Petra Rediscovered: The Lost City
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177. The Archaeology of Human Bones
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178. The Resurrection of the Shroud
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179. The Prehistory of Egypt: From
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180. The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey

161. The Glorious Traditions of Chinese Bronzes
by Li Xueqin
list price: $80.00
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Asin: 9814068047
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: National Heritage Board
Sales Rank: 544311
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Book Description

Anthony Hardy's Sze Yuan Tang Collection of ancient Chinese bronzes had its inspirational beginnings in the early 1950s when, as a schoolboy in England, he was struck by the architechtonic beauty of a solitary Shang jue tripod wine vessel in his father's collection of predominantly Western medieval art. There is little doubt that his early encounter with the archaic jue led to an intense interest in early Chinese art and in ancient Chinese ritual bronzes in particular.

Hardy started collecting bronzes seriously in the early 1980s and places great importance on what he calls the "Four P's" - Patination, Pictogram, Precision and Provenance.

To Hardy, a bronze vessel worthy of collecting must have a good natural Patination, nature's contribution to a great work of bronze art; a Pictogram or inscription of historic significance; Precision and sharpness of casting; and also Provenance recording the academic history of the piece, the collections it has been in, where it has been exhibited and what has been written about it.

When Hardy married Susan Chen they decided that the exhibition of Hardy's principally Shang ritual bronzes scheduled for late 2000 at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore should be expanded to include sculptural animal bronzes and the more feminine and jewel-like inlaid bronzes of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods belonging to Chen's own collection. Together the two collections offer a more extensive view of the glorious traditions of ancient Chinese bronzes. ... Read more

162. Richard Wetherill Anasazi
by F. McNitt
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Asin: 0826303293
Catlog: Book (1966-06-01)
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Sales Rank: 525217
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
Very interesting and complete. Makes you want to visit and keep exploring. Well written. Holds you interest.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pioneer Explorer of Anasazi Ruins
Frank McNitt's biography of Richard Wetherhill, the pioneer explorer of the Anasazi culture of the Four Corners Region of the southwest has been in print since 1957. Not a bad record for a trade book, that is to say not a textbook. McNitt's eastern based publishing family owned the Brentwood Newspaper in suburban Los Angeles. Frank, sent out as publisher, vacationed with his family in New Mexico and was ever after attracted to the Southwest. On subsequent trips he heard of Richard Wetherill, the Quaker rancher from Mancos,CO whose family property was below Mesa Verde. As a Quaker, son of a former Indian Agent, Wetherill's honest relationship with the local Utes permited him to range the nearby Mesa Verde canyons unmolested. Here he and his brothers made the first significant explorations of the mostly unknown Anazasi ruins there. Sponsored by the Babo Soap heirs he would eventually discover or explore every significant Anasazi site in four states. He homesteaded at Chaco Canyon,the grandest Anasazi of them all. To finance his commitment to exploration he became one the most successful promotors of Navajo crafts, igniting a national decorative fad before WWI. His goods hung in the Waldorf Astoria Bar, a young Joseph Campbell saw Wetherill's Anazazi collections at The American Museum of Natural History, the St. Louis World's Fair featured his basketmaker culture artifacts. Independent, individualistic and highly humanistic in his relationships, Wetherill,by his very nature threatened those less talented or secure. His archeology was demeaned by professionals. He was subverted by agents of the Dawes Severalty Act,a law binding native Americans to enforced assimilation and dependency. Wetherhill's business enterprises among the Navajo gave lie to the need for the Dawes Act. Assassinated from ambush in what McNitt concludes was a political manipulation, Wetherill was dead by 1910. McNitt's investigative talents lead him through years of research and oral history depositions with living contemporary's of Wetherill. McNitt moved to New Mexico to be closer to his research, supporting himself as a publisher at Farmington and breifly as an employee of The University of New Mexico Press. He wore out a Land Rover driving the unpaved reservation roads of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah to track down facts about Wetherill. McNitt's awe at what he found is disclosed in balanced journalistic terms which build, chapter-upon-chapter into the stuff of legend without a scintilla of sentimentality to mar the art. ... Read more

163. Unearthing Atlantis: : An Archaeological Odyssey to the Fabled Lost Civilization
by Charles R. Pellegrino
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Asin: 0380810441
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: Avon
Sales Rank: 89170
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

It is one of humankind's most enduring myths. And now it is a fantasy no longer...

In the year 347 B.C., Plato wrote of a miraculous island with hot and cold flowing waters, terraced multi-storied buildings, and "the fairest of all plains." For thousands, of years, the legend of the mysterious vanished "continent" of Atlantis has captivated writers, poets, artists, philosophers, and dreamers. But now Atlantis has been found -- and the truth about its vibrant life and horrific destruction is even more remarkable than the myth.

Based on artifacts and evidence uncovered in an ancient buried Minoan city, noted scientist and New York Times-bestselling author bestselling author Charles Pellegrino reanimates an astounding lost civilization and re-creates with explosive power the apocalyptic cataclysm that destroyed their remarkable island metropolis. A brilliant synthesis of historical, literary, archaeological, and geological detective work, here is both the story of the astounding discovery that transformed tale into fact -- and a breathtakinq vision of Atlantis reborn.

... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Earth-shaking
Pellegrino has a way of making the past come so alive that his non-fiction is even more riveting than his occasional novels (and that's not putting down his novels: "Dust" deals with our own civilization turning to the stuff of archaeology and it scares the pants off you, it's so real). I just love being taken by the hand by him, then led to an archaeological site, and from there back in time to the beginning of civilization itself. He's best in the remote, remote past - and though his Titanic books are kind of interesting, I just wish he would stop getting distracted by it, and go back where he is best: Thousands of years in the past. Are Pellegrino and Cameron listening? The ship hit an iceberg and it sank and it was sad when the great ship went down. End of story. Get over it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Very important subject, but sketchy writing
YES: this book is about the real Atlantis. It really did exist, but not in the literal way that Plato described it, and certainly not in the way that New Age speculation "theorists" want it to.

I really wanted to give this book a perfect five-star rating, as the subject matter is immensely important, and the author's enthusiasm makes this book a truly exciting experience. The long story made short is that "Atlantis" was in reality a small island in the east Mediterranean way back around 1600 BC. Thera was a part of the Minoan Empire, and, being a group of islands between Egypt and Greece, had not only the world's first navy, but aquaducts (long before the famous Roman water systems) and a surprisingly highly-evolved culture. Then one day, the volcano at the center of Thera exploded with as least six times the power of Krakatoa (the 1883 eruption that was heard over 2000 miles away), and within seconds 2/3 of the island was in the stratosphere.

This was all before even the Greeks became the dominant force in the region, and so the sudden disappearance of the Minoans (who dominated trade between Europe and Africa) not surprisingly became various stories passed down through the generations, which is where Plato heard it. Plato's description of an entire continent all the way out in the Atlantic that sunk into the sea turned out to be an embellishment on what was, by then, just a myth. He was essentially trying to make a point about how quickly even the most powerful civilization can crumble, and what he said was passed down through the ages, in one form or another, to us. This is how and why these Art Bell "experts" have hijacked this subject and nailed it onto their "theories" of other subjects that have been blown completely out of proportion, such as the Bermuda Triangle, life on Mars, Bigfoot, etc. Case in point: just because Atlantis was advanced by ancient standards, NO: THEY DID NOT HAVE AIRPLANES OR LASERS. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but REAL history isn't "Spear of Destiny" garbage: it's how real people really lived, not whatever garbage you want it to be.

Of course, this book was an emotional one to read: an ancient culture creating such high technology (a millenium ahead of its time), only to be totally annihilated in just seconds. If the downfall of Rome and the unsuing loss of knowledge and the onset of the Dark Ages is considered to be historically tragic, this story is then the most epic catastrophe EVER. The author points out that if they were doing what took another 1000 years for the Romans to figure out (such as running water through pipes), who knows what these people might have managed to do? Maybe we would have been on the moon 2000 years ago. We'll never know.

The downfall of this book that I hinted at earlier is that 90% of everything important is said immediately: none of what I've said here is a "big mystery" that gets unravelled through the course of the book. It's like getting hit from all sides with amazing (and very enthusiastic) information about who the Therans might have been, how the world was at the time, and the excitement that Atlantis did exist after all. As great as all of that is, the book suddenly takes a left turn into endless archaeological stories and theories that simply don't have much of anything to do with the subject. At first, it's the author trying to put Theran history into perspective (he says that people have a hard time comprehending what happened over 2000 years ago, and he's right), but he just starts beating this idea to death. He'll occasionally get back to Thera and the ongoing excavations, and then he'll launch back into a whole list of other things that become more and more distracting. By the last 100 pages of the book, it becomes a chore to get through to the end, in the increasingly dismal hope that he'll say more than just one or two things about Thera itself.

This book isn't written as much badly as just way off target. The author's enthusiasm will make you picture him as a kid playing in a sandbox for the very first time (which is probably how he'd actually describe himself), but unfortunately, he runs out of steam when he runs out of things to really say. On the other hand, this subject is fascinating and important, and I would, of course, still highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to find a huge missing piece of history, or to anyone trying to scrape that layer of filth known as "New Age speculation" off of some really solid history: the real thing is far more interesting than the National Enquirer version.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wrong time, wrong place, by coauthor of Atlantis In America
This is a beatifully written book. The author has a keen sense of the majesty of time and he very effectively imparts this greater view to the reader. He deals with the background to a very significant find in ancient civilization. However, to validate placing Thera (Santorini) in the context of Atlantis, Pelligrino cites Plato but suggests the learned man didn't understand math and referred to a culture destroyed not 9,000 years before but 900. Pelligrino, in insisting on a small Mediterranean island as Atlantis also challenges Plato's knowledge of geography. In the Critias Plato describes three distinct seas -- The Mediterranean, which Plato described as "merely a harbor, having a narrow entrance", the named sea (The Atlantic), and that other that "is the real sea (the Pacific), and the surrounding land that may truly be called continent (Asia)." In fact the Mediterranean could not have supported a climate such as that found in Plato's lush Atlantis 9,000 years before his time -- ice-sheets dominated all of Europe. As to inconsistencies with the legend, Pelligrino complains, "All we have is Plato's word." Untrue. There are other sources both in ancient times and currently. The most significant are Andrew Collin's GATEWAY TO ATLANTIS, Colin Wilson's ATLANTIS BLUEPRINT, and Ivar Zapp's research into the remarkable spheres of Costa Rica, ATLANTIS IN AMERICA, Navigators of the Ancient World. All point to an actual Atlantis just where Plato said it existed. On this point Plato's words seem likely to outive Pelligrino's.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pellegrino at his best
This guy just never stops riding the shockwave - and with such elegant prose, too. He never tells you what is, as fact, but instead lays out all the evidence along with arguements for and against his own interpretations, then encourages you to think for yourself. The story here is an investigation of Frost and Marinatos' theory that the tale that came down to plato was the decline of Minoan civilization in the aftermath of the nuclear-winter-esque, 25,000 megaton explosion of the volcanic island of Thera (santorini) in 1628 B.C. The eruption and its devastating false winter-in-summer effects were documented and detailed as far away as China, and were credited with bringing down an entire dynasty. Plato did not write about the Chinese devastations. The Minoans were a lot closer; in fact, right at ground zero. Pellegrino's evidence suggests that Plato and the Egyptians were either writing about the Minoans (a modern name given to a civilization whose towns, with the impliments of daily life and even their food, were coccooned intact under mountains of volcanic dust), or Atlantis did not exist at all. Pellegrino's voyages into the Earth and back through time are so eye-opening, even mind bending, that you will never look at your world, or even your own back yard, the same way again. I know I won't. Like his other archaeology books, you simply cannot put this one down. They read better than any novel - and especially better than Pellegrino's own science fiction novels. The realities he finds down here on Earth are so amazing that I don't understand why he has to fly around making things up in, of all places, the star Trek universe. I guess everyone's entitled to do something a little kooky now and then, as long as they don't hurt anyone (Avoid "Dyson Sphere" and "Dust" like the plague). Someone with his talent for observation and communication shouldn't be wasting it in the literary ghetto of science fiction - or on chaos theory. With Pellegrino, everything eventually gets down to chaos, like that Malcolm character in "Jurassic Park"," who just happens to be based on him (even down to the point of sometimes getting a little too high on himself). The sister book, "Return to Sodom and Gomorrah" is just as great, if you skip the chaos theory chapter. His books on the archaeology of the Titanic are great too, but this one is his masterpiece. ... Read more

164. The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion
by Thorkild Jacobsen
list price: $22.00
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Asin: 0300022913
Catlog: Book (1976-06-01)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Sales Rank: 206026
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Into the light...
The book 'Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion' by Thorkild Jacobsen is a text used by courses in my seminary and others to provide a background to religious feeling and development over a long stretch of human history -- nearly three thousand years. Whether one accepts that the patriarchs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are real historical figures or not, no one can plausibly deny that the religious development of the peoples of Canaan (and indeed of all the ancient world around the eastern Mediterranean to the Indus river) were affected by the cultural and religious developments in Mesopotamia, the centre of the region, and a fertile region second to none known in the world, on a par with the Nile, around which another major civilisation arose.

This is a text of history of Mesopotamia in its own right. By the time history gets back this far, the lines become very blurred, rather like parallel lines intersecting on the horizon. Literature, religion, archaeology, sociology, psychology -- all of these disciplines become intertwined in Jacobsen's text as he looks at Sumerian society.

The book is organised with an introduction, then according to time divisions of fourth, third, and second millennia, then concludes with an epilogue into the first millennium, during which the Bible as we know it (and most ancient history such as is commonly known occurred) came to be.

Ancient Mesopotamian Religion: The Terms
The first chapter introduces basic concepts for doing religious studies of any historical era, as well as those specific to this text. Key concepts such as understanding the numinous, the confrontation with power not of this world, the use of metaphor and the importance and limitations on literalness are explored. With regard to what makes Mesopotamian religion unique, Jacobsen explores this with direct quotation from texts from the periods of Sumerian history. One thing that is important in the development of religion is the shift toward human identification. No longer do 'sun gods' and 'nature gods' dominate.

The ancient Mesopotamians also saw this divinity as immanent, rather than transcendent. It is something within, at the centre, rather than something beyond. Because of this, the idea of a god living in a certain place or having special 'holy places' was a strong one -- a god was more present (sometimes only present) in certain places that usually became pilgrimage points or temples. (One can see here the obvious parallel of the ancient Israelites with God who lives more fully on a mountain in Sinai or in a temple in Jerusalem.)

What is true for us is also true for the ancient Mesopotamians in their religious development -- over the course of three thousand years, a dramatic development has taken place (just as thousands of years of development have wrought great changes in Judaism and Christianity), but there is always a tension and interplay of ideas between the old and the new.

Religion through the Millennia
Looking at modern religions, ancient religious impulses and concerns rooted in nature have never completely faded. But during the third millennium, divine powers began to be seen as rulers and helpers of cities and tribes. There was personality beginning to be added to divinities, and they had particular human interests. Gods and goddesses became patrons of rulers and cities on earth, again reflecting the very real needs of the people at the time, whose security rested with rulers and a new invention in the world, the organised military force. Once again, one can see these issues relevant in ancient biblical texts.

Into the second millennium, the distance of gods and goddess lessened, as people came to regard them not only as patron of cities, remote and distant rulers, or impersonal forces (although all of these elements survived in the divine images and characters) but also as personal patrons, someone/thing that could intervene in times of trouble, that could be thanked in times of personal prosperity, that could be sought for personal inspiration. Household gods and personal relationships with deities became common. Again, we can see this not only in the ancient biblical texts, but right up to the present day. It is from this second millennium that the Akkadian epic Gilgamesh derives; when we think of Gilgamesh today, it is this version we know. However, the elements of the Gilgamesh epic go back into the earliest parts of Sumerian history.

Minor criticisms
This is a generally excellent work. Jacobsen writes with an elegant but not overblown style, with liberal use of translated original texts to illustrate points. However, I consider it an important if not crucial point for histories such as this to have visual illustrations, maps, timelines, charts and other visual aids. Linguistically-oriented as I am, I appreciate a good narrative, but I also find that drawing on multiple intelligences reinforces the learning. There are a mere eight illustrations in this text, and three charts (oddly enough, not listed among the illustrations). There are no maps. Given the several thousand years of history being presented here, surely one map could be included? Similarly, there are no depictions of the original languages used, or the cuneiform script in which many of the original documents were penned. Line art, computer generated graphics, and photographs are readily available; the inclusion of a few would enhance this text greatly.

Overall, however, this is an excellent text, and one that will give great reading pleasure and considerable insight to the reader. Discover the ancient stories of snakes and floods. Encounter the gods who live on mountains and in temples. All hundreds if not thousands of years before the book we call the Bible came into being.

4-0 out of 5 stars Splendor in the Dark
Jacobsen is a giant in his field, but as an introduction to the subject "Treasures of Darkness" can be heavy going. Most helpful to me was the way that he tackles the myths chronologically, starting the book with the Dumuzi cults recored in the earliest Sumerian sources and ending with the stories of Marduk and Gilgamesh from later records. In between he covers topics from the rise of kingship to the growth of personal religion in a way that makes the beliefs come alive as an evolving response to the world rather than an inert collection of tablets.

Jacobsen has a tendency to present speculation as fact--you wouldn't guess from reading this alone that many of his points are disputed--and the translations are a little stilted, at least to my ears. But his book goes a long way to turning the fragmentary evidence into a coherent philosophy of nature, humanity and the gods. Mesopotamian religion is often described as pessimistic; Jacobsen restores some of the awe, love and splendor that might have made it a convincing world view for thousands of people we'll never otherwise know.

5-0 out of 5 stars Were the "gods" of Mesopotamia really gods ?
THE TREASURES OF DARKNESS : A History of Mesopotamian Religion. By Thorkild Jacobsen. 273 pp. New Haven and London : Yale University Press, 1976. ISBN 0-300-01844-4 (hbk).

Thorkild Jacobsen, noted authority on Mesopotamia and professor emeritus of Assyriology at Harvard University, is one of that small band of dedicated scholars who have devoted their lives to the decipherment and study of the most important literary treasure to have survived fom the ancient world - the miraculously preserved clay tablets from the cuneiform libraries of Mesopotamia. As such, in offering us a well-written and thoroughly documented scholarly study of "Mesopotamian Religion," he certainly ought to know what he is talking about.

If however we turn to the work of an equally eminent Assyriologist, to A. Leo Oppenheim's 'Ancient Mesopotamia' (1964), a major work of scholarship by a man who also studied the cuneiform tablets for more than thirty years, and whose study attempts to sum up all that the written record so far deciphered has to tell us about the Mesopotamian civilizations, we find that, although his study runs to 433 pages, he has not even bothered to include a chapter on "Mesopotamian Religion." Instead what he has given us in Chapter IV is an extended argument as to "Why a "Mesopotamian Religion" should not be written" (pp. 172-183).

He tells us, for example, that : "The Immense ruins of the temple towers [ziggurats] of the large cities ... made Babylonia famous .... Yet even today we do not know the purpose of these edifices.... We do not know what they were for" (p. 172).

This is a startling admission, since it calls into question not only the fundamental thesis of Professor Jacobsen's study, but pretty well everything else that has been written about ancient Mesopotamia.

If the "temples" shouldn't really be called "temples" since we don't know what purpose they served, what about the "gods," "myths," and "religion" of the Mesopotamians? Do these words also represent a mistranslation or misreading or distortion of the facts? Were their "temples" really temples? their "gods" really gods? their "myths" mere idle tales and fabrications?

Orthodox opinion would answer "Yes!" to all of these questions, and it is presuppositions such as these that, so far as I can see, structure Professor Jacobsen's thinking. Orthodox opinion, of course, may well turn out to be right, and Professor Jacobsen, in his 'Treasures of Darkness,' has certainly provided us with an eloquent thesis.

But when confronted with any thesis, we should never forget what Lu Chi (+ 754-805) reminds us of in his brilliant 'Essay on Literature,' the 'Wen fu,' when he tells us that: 'Theses are convincing - but deceptive...'

So far as I know, Oppenheim is one of the very few scholars who have had the courage to suggest that the conventional view of Mesopotamian history may be fundamentally in error. Another is Zechariah Sitchin. My advice, after you have finished reading Professor Jacobsen's well-written, well-argued, and extremely interesting study, would be to then read both Oppenheim and Sitchin and make up your own mind about these weighty matters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Without a doubt, the best Author on the subject!
This Author grabs the Mesopatamian nail and hits it on the head...every time, without fail. He has a vivid writing style and approaches each new subject without so much as a hint of Ethnocentrism. He eloquently states each new topic through the eyes of the subject, a must-read on the topic of the Mesopotamians. ... Read more

165. The Origin Map: Discovery of a Prehistoric, Megalithic, Astrophysical Map and Sculpture of the Universe
by Thomas G. Brophy
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
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Asin: 0595241220
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: Writers Club Press
Sales Rank: 68156
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On a desolate plain in the Egyptian Sahara desert, west of Aswan, there is a very remote prehistoric site called Nabta Playa.There, a recently discovered complex of extremely ancient man-made megalithic structures have baffled the archaeologists who excavated them.An insight into the meaning and use of the megaliths led to a step-by-step sequence of discoveries, verified by measure and calculation, revealing that the megalithic architecture at Nabta Playa is a unified and detailed astrophysical map of truly astonishing accuracy, with no less than staggering implications. Written for the educated general reader, with technical appendices, the discovery of how to decipher the system of megalithic structures is reported with gripping clarity. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thomas Brophy Proves Ancient Sophistication!
In 1969 Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend published their work in a book titled "Hamlet's Mill" putting forth the theory that ancient mythology was, in fact, the scientific language of the ancients. Since then numerous authors and researchers have endeavored to prove that megalithic structures of our ancient past served their builders in astronomical ways. However, proof has always seemed hard to come by concerning these megaliths. That was before Thomas Brophy examined a series of structures in the Sahara desert.

In his book Brophy proves that the ancient mind was sophisticated and able to accomplish sophisticated projects using precise calculations. His findings are astonishing. The Nabta Playa megaliths were a user-friendly star map of the constellation Orion applicable between 6400 and 4900 BC. And he proves his case in multiple ways. Even more astonishing is sculpted bedrock eight feet below the main megalith. Carved into its surface is a map of our galaxy! He doesn't stop there and also addresses the Giza Plateau as an astronomical Zodiac Clock.

This is no fringe theory either. Brophy's credentials as an astrophysicist are impeccable and the supporting documentation is excellent. Without a doubt this is one of the most important books ever written about ancient civilizations. Someday history will have to be rewritten and Brophy will be mentioned in the first chapter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated Ancient Astronomers
Astrophysicist Brophy has focused his considerable scientific background and research skills to demonstrate that a 17,000-year-old culture that lived in what is now the western desert of Egypt knew precise data about our galaxy. Analizing a recent archaeological find at the site of Nabta Playa (radio carbon dated to as early as 10,000 BC), he demonstrates that finely carved stones and engraved bedrock contained specific coordinates of stars as early as 16,500 BC. They also contained accurate information on the configuration of our Milky Way with the exact position of our Sun and the galactic center as of 17,430 BC. A valuable scientific detective story that confirms very ancient prehistoric human knowledge. ... Read more

166. Early Dynastic Egypt: Strategies, Society and Security
by Toby A. H. Wilkinson, Toby A.H. Wilkinson
list price: $32.95
our price: $32.95
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Asin: 0415260116
Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 229057
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Early Dynastic Egypt spans the five centuries preceding the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza. This was the formative period of ancient Egyptian civilization, and it witnessed the creation of a distinctive culture that was to endure for 3,000 years. This book examines the background to that great achievement, the mechanisms by which it was accomplished, and the character of life in the Nile valley during the first 500 years of Pharaonic rule. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent text for scholars or interested amateurs
The reviews prior to mine sum up the strong points of the text quite well, it is an excellent resource for up-to-date (as of its publication) information and current models about the rise of the Egyptian state. The only criticisms I have are minor and some what nitpicky, but I'll include them anyway:
1) the paper the books is printed on is slightly glossy which I find extremely irritating as it catched light and returns a glare when you're reading (I told you this would be nitpicky).
2) not many illustrations - publishing costs being what they are, etc. I can understand the lack of illustrations and the choices made as to what to include, but clear understanding of some points, especially when discussing layout of sites, etc. is greatly facilitated by the inclusion of good maps, plans, etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars a must-have for all serious Egyptology students
In this stunning book, the author chronicles the cultural, religious, economic and political developments which led to the construction of the pyramids. Divided in three parts, the author provides convincing evidence in relation to the five topics discussed herein, i.e. administration, contacts with foreign lands, establishment of divine kingship, royal tombs, and early Egyptian religion. A remarkable publication with great photography. Highly recommended for the interested student or scholar.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent summary of a burgeoning sub-field in Egyptology
This book replaces W.B. Emery's Archaic Egypt as the standard English-language introduction to the early dynatic period. It is a fine synthesis of the last century of work in the field and in specialist journals, including many recent discoveries (e.g., cemetary U at Umm-el-Qaab) and the most important discussions (e.g., Seidlmayer,Renee Friedman). Especially strong in dealing with the "new" archeology, the most important original contribution of this work is its analysis of royal administration in the 1st through 3rd dynasties. If the book does have a weakness, it is in its catalog-like treatment of religion: but the major references are given for the reader to follow out even here. ... Read more

167. Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire
list price: $20.95
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Asin: 0472085689
Catlog: Book (1999-03-15)
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Sales Rank: 275787
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Life, Death, and Entertainment gives those who have a general interest in Roman antiquity a starting point informed by the latest developments in scholarship for understanding the extraordinary range of Roman society. Family structure, gender identity, food supply, religion, and entertainment are all crucial to an understanding of the Roman world. As views of Roman history have broadened in recent decades to encompass a wider range of topics, the need has grown for a single volume that can offer a starting point for these diverse subjects, for readers of all backgrounds.
This collection fills such a need by uniting a series of general introductions on each of these topics for the non-specialist. Each essay brings readers into contact with broadly ranging evidence, as well as with a wide variety of approaches that are needed to study basic questions about the Roman world.
Essays explore the Roman family, gender definition, demography, Roman food supply, Roman religion, and the wide variety of public entertainments throughout the empire. The volume brings together an unparalleled range of methodologies and topics. It will enable the modern reader to understand the Roman world in all its complexity. The general reader will welcome this approachable and timely text.
Contributors to the volume include Greg Aldrete, Hazel Dodge, Bruce W. Frier, Maud Gleason, Ann Hanson, David Mattingly, and David Potter.
D. S. Potter is Professor of Classics and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, University of Michigan. D. J. Mattingly is Reader in Archaeology and Head of the Archaeology Division, University of Leicester.
... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars No-Spin Zone
Nothing further to add, but wanted to point out that this work is not as slanted politically correct as Encolp in his review above make it seem. The book is much more objective, all the pseudo-intellectual babbling is purely the reviewer's preferred conlcusions using the data in the book as a springboard. I just can't help wonder why he is so disturbed by so-called "manly types" (or what he means by that).

5-0 out of 5 stars Power, Wealth, Pleasure, and a "Duh" Mentality...
Sound familiar? Does what goes around -- come around
again? Are the malls the 21st century version of
the Roman baths? Are the Nascar racetracks the 21st
century version of the chariot races? Are our
football stadiums the 21st century version of the
Colosseum? This book does not present its themes
in these terms, but one cannot help but think about
these things as one reads it -- in tandem with reading
the Roman writers who satirized or caught in verse the
goings-on in their own times: Catullus, Martial,
Petronius, Juvenal.
Besides the "Introduction" by David S. Porter, there
are 3 large Parts to the division of the book. Part
I is titled: "Social Structures and Demography". Within
this section are informative and highly interesting essays
on "The Roman Family," "Elite Male Identity in the Roman
Empire," and "Roman Demography." Part II is titled:
"Religion." There is only one essay in this Part --
"Roman Religion: Ideas and Action." Part III is titled:
"Bread and Circuses" [the famous phrase used to describe
how the rulers and the "elite" kept the masses under their
control -- by giving them doles of food or by providing
them with mass entertainments to keep their minds off
the fact of their gruelling lives and that they did
not lead the "good life" that the "elites" were leading --
sound familiar?]. In this Part are the essays: "Feeding
the City: The Organization, Operation,and Scale of the
Supply System for Rome," "Amusing the Masses: Buildings
for Entertainment and Leisure in the Roman World," and
"Entertainers in the Roman World." Since our modern
era also seems to be so much into shallow entertainment
and pleasures, perhaps the titles of the subsections of
this last chapter will be intriguing: Actors and Athletes.
Chariot Racing.[the factions and their fans sound like
ancient Roman predecessors to the WWF and Nascar
fanatics...] Gladiators, Beast Hunts, and Executions.
[well, we haven't "progressed" in our tastes and
"sophistication" that far yet...but, who knows? ...]
All in all, this is a very interesting, insightful,
intriguing -- as well as provoking book. The
section that interested me the most was the one
on the Roman emphasis and hang-up on male identity -
what was considered manly, and what was not. It isn't,
as if that is one of the main obsessions in our own
times in the U.S. of A. , of course. And what are
all the "manly" types contributing to the betterment,
stability, and nobility of our present society and culture?
It gives one pause, for reflection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Extremely entertaining and informative
First off, this book is a collection of seven very long essays by different experts. The essays deal with the minutest details of Roman life, ranging from religious practice to construction to gladiatorial combat and criminal execution. Not all essays are created equal, and there are two in here that I found rather dry, but perhaps that is because I couldn't care less about the specifics of amphitheater construction. The others were phenomenal, and even the "boring" ones contain excellent and useful information.

I read L,D,&E (as I have begun to call it) for an undergraduate class in Roman History and had to write a critical review-type paper about it. I have to say I actually enjoyed the assignment. The book was, overall, excellent. It features real-life "snapshots" of different aspects of Roman life, and unlike many books about Ancient Rome, it doesn't focus solely on the upper classes. It also doesn't spend any time discussing politics or history or "great men" of the times, so if you're looking for that, go elsewhere. This book is NOT an introduction to imperial Rome -- you'll need to have one of those under your belt already -- but it IS the most wonderful, complete, and readable supplementary material available. It really fills in the gaps and answers questions you didn't know you had, giving you a vastly more complete picture of Rome under the Emperors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good resource book
This is an interesting, well-written book that would be a good edition to the library of any student of Roman history as well as being a good resource for writers of historical fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic discussion of "real life" in Rome...
This book discusses aspects of Roman life that are frequently difficult to research... such as the kinds of toys Roman children enjoyed or the types of birth control that were popular. It covers such subjects as "feeding the city" and "entertaining the populace" as well as religion and other expected items. The work comprises a sweeping approach to "real life stuff" in a framework that is scholarly (with plenty of documentation) but highly entertaining. It's the kind of book I've been wanting to own for years. ... Read more

168. The Cities of Ancient Mexico: Reconstructing a Lost World
by Jeremy A. Sabloff, MacDuff Everton
list price: $16.95
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Asin: 0500279292
Catlog: Book (1997-04-01)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Sales Rank: 367170
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Book Description

Ancient Mexico was one of the great independent hearths of civilization. Out of varied landscapes grew some of the richest cultures of the early historic world--Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec. Standard histories tend to focus on the individual societies, but Jeremy Sabloff's popular study takes an original approach, emphasizing the unity of Mexican civilization. In a series of vignettes, Professor Sabloff describes what it would have been like to live during the heyday of Mexico's greatest cities. Through the eyes of astronomers and ballplayers, merchants and priests, we see the temples, palaces, and tombs of a civilization obsessed with ritual and death. But who built these cities and how do we know? Sabloff explains convincingly just why archaeologists believe in the indigenous origins of Mexican civilization. This updated and revised edition includes the latest findings at Monte Alban and other sites; incorporates discoveries at the Palenque tombs and breakthroughs in the decipherment of the Maya script; and draws on fresh readings of Aztec ethnohistorical sources. Throughout, the author reveals the new ideas and techniques revolutionizing archaeological fieldwork and shows how the latest evidence is being used to reconstruct a fuller picture of the past. ... Read more

169. Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies In Ancient Egypt
list price: $29.50
our price: $19.47
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Asin: 9774248589
Catlog: Book (2005-04-28)
Publisher: American University in Cairo Press
Sales Rank: 110816
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Book Description

The invention of mummification enabled the ancient Egyptians to preserve the bodies, not only of humans but also of animals, so that they could live forever. Mummified animals are of four different types: food offerings, pets, sacred animals, and votive offerings. For the first time, a series of studies on the different types of animal mummies, the methods of mummification, and the animal cemeteries located at sites throughout Egypt are drawn together in a definitive volume on ancient Egyptian animal mummies. Studies of these animals provide information not only about the fauna of the country, and indirectly, its climate, but also about animal domestication, veterinary practices, human nutrition, mummification technology, and the religious practices of the ancient Egyptians. ... Read more

170. Ancient Micronesia & the Lost City of Nan Madol: Including Palau, Yap, Kosrae, Chuuk & the Marianas (Lost Cities of the Pacific)
by David Hatcher Childress
list price: $16.95
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Asin: 0932813496
Catlog: Book (1998-02-01)
Publisher: Adventures Unlimited Press
Sales Rank: 464763
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars Rough Guide to pseudo-science
As a previous reviewer has mentioned, this book, and others of its ilk, such as works by authors like Barry Fell, is based on the premise that only white people have invented anything complex. I don't think Childress is genuinely racist in motivation, he's just not the brightest of bulbs. The idea that cultures can develop in similar ways without being in contact with one another is a concept too subtle for the likes of Childress, but it doesn't stop him coming up with his usual ill considered opinions.
These books do a great disservice to the people of the Pacific, to scholarship, the past, and just plain honesty. If you want a genuine examination of Pacific prehistory you'd be far better off reading Pat Kirch or Peter Bellwood than wasting your time on Childress' childish scribblings.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rigorous or not, this book is great reading !
Indeed, as other reviewers have also observed, some of the contents of this book come from uncertain sources. Some of its parts are more serious, some less so. But all in all, this book does provide a great insight into the culture and life of ancient Micronesia - and it's one of very few books that accomplish this. It is written in a vivid style, easy to read, serving also as a guidebook to some extent for those visiting the region. For armchair travellers, real travellers, scholars of Micronesia, and others, this is a book I recommend ! Just take it with some caution if you are looking for academic rigour.

5-0 out of 5 stars Diffusionist Theory Applied to Micronesia
It is difficult to find books that include an indepth look at diffusionist theory in Micronesia, or other Pacific Islands, for that matter. Thor Heyerdahl, Barry Fell, and others have proposed that the settlement of the Pacific started in early Egypt. Indeed, did the same people who built the Egyptian pyramids and megaliths build the incredible city of Nan Madol? Childress says that Nan Madol and other megalithic remains in the Pacific were built by the ancient Egyptians. A great theory, and Childress provides a great deal of evidence in the form of photos, maps, and well referenced "facts." Highly recommended for diffusionists and those who study the megalith builders of thousands of years ago.

2-0 out of 5 stars I was excited then Angry!
This book had me excited I love lost cities and and bieng part Chamoru I was very excited to learn about My Ancestors, at first he guides you through all of these great cities and cultures, then he tells you in a "Nice" way that these stone structures could have never been made by Micronesians, I was sure he was going to start calling Micronesians Savages He got most of his information from books printed over a hundred years ago written during the great Teutonic Revival during this time, Nearly everyone was trying to put Aryans on every corner of the globe, he qouted one of My favorite Epigraphic writer's Barry Fell he bielieves that Polynesians are from Lybya which he bases solely on the fact of simuliar writing or alphabets, I don't Doubt that the pacific Islands were visited by Differant peoples all over the earth, but why is it the bielief that only white people can move stone and make stone temples and cities, every Great civilization has had its White Stamp on it and I find that ridiculous, Dont get me wrong I am very Proud of My white Heritage but white people aren't the only people who can move stones and create cities, He does mention Chinese Envolvment and Japanese in the Marianas which I don't doubt, but these are a brief few paragraphs then he goes back to White settlers, and in conclusion this book is Basically a patchwork Quilt he gathers info from all over mostly from outdated books and sources and put it all in one book to make a buck, there are better books

3-0 out of 5 stars A fun uncritical use of serious and not so serious sources.
Here is a writer with an unflagging lust for ancient cities who is more than willing to pick and expand pieces from any source he can find. But he is fun!! I collect pacifica and I lived there but he has found sources I've never heard of. I think he includes some factoids just to add to the references. But still its readable, current and his actually visiting the sites is worth a look from anyone interested in the subject. I'm sending it to my 88 year-old dad who lived in the area as a young man. He'll love it even as he finds fault. ... Read more

171. The Ecology of Power: Culture, Place and Personhood in the Southern Amazon, Ad 1000-2000 (Critical Perspectives in Identity, Memory & the Built Enviroment)
by Michael J. Heckenberger
list price: $33.95
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Asin: 0415945992
Catlog: Book (2004-12-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 408047
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Book Description

Examines the indigenous people discovered in Brazil in 1884, drawing from written and oral history, ethnigraphy, and archaeology. ... Read more

172. Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies: Volume 8 (1997) L'Equipment militaire et l'armement de la republique
list price: $70.00
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Asin: 1842170066
Catlog: Book (2000-10-15)
Publisher: Oxbow Books Ltd
Sales Rank: 631785
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Book Description

Proceedings of the tenth International Roman Military Equipment Conference at Montpellier, France in 1996.

The titles are in a variety of languages, concentrating on new archaeological finds from Central and Western Europe.Contributors include some of the leading names in Roman Military studies. ... Read more

173. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Lost Civilizations
by Donald P. Ryan
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Asin: 002862954X
Catlog: Book (1999-05-27)
Publisher: Alpha Books
Sales Rank: 362431
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Download Description

Separating fact from fiction, this work shows the reader where to find the civilizations that have vanished or exist with only slight clues left among ruins. As well as stories of lost civilizations, it presents news on the latest and most exciting archaeological finds. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A reference tool I will reach for time and time again.
Dr. Donald P. Ryan serves up a plethora of fascinating and interesting tidbits of information encompassing all aspects of archaeology, clear explanations of technical jargon and the cultures of ancient civilizations in this concise and well written volume. While the format and presentation of material lends itself well to small infusions of highly educational, interesting and entertaining moments at one sitting, the author's writing style is so engaging that you anxiously await your next opportunity to dive into the next segment or chapter. Due to the enormity of the topic, space prevents a highly detailed presentation of any given ancient culture so the author kindly assists by providing a recommended reading list at the conclusion of the book for those yearning to learn even more. However, it is quite incredible just how much information Dr. Ryan has succeeding in presenting us with, given the confining space restrictions of this one volume.

Dr. Ryan has the knack of making ancient cultures "come alive" and provides an awareness that ancient cultures were significantly more advanced than they have been given credit for and points out the technical, social and political "advances" made. My special area of interest happens to be the culture of Ancient Egypt however, after devouring Dr. Ryan's book, I am now most anxious to learn more about Ancient Egypt's neighboring civilizations and to learn more about "lost civilizations" in a broader sense. I also now feel that I have a better understanding of archaeological methods, techniques and "jargon" which will make delving through all those technical journals a much more pleasant experience!

I was particularly impressed with the author's ability to cover the rather touchy topics of fringe archaeology, diffusion and isolation viewpoints and ethical dilemmas in a frank, candid and non-biased manner. He manages to pull all this off in a non-judgmental manner and encourages the reader to think for themselves based on the archaeological evidence at hand as well as keeping in mind that out of "fringe" archaeology may come a valuable piece of information.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with even a mild interest in archaeology and ancient civilizations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly informative and enjoyable!
As one who has taught ancient history for many years, I'm always interested in finding books that will nicely supplement the usual texts and lectures. This book really fills a gap. It provides wonderful information on how archaeology works and I found that the summaries of the various world areas were quite competent...A lot of ancient history and archaeology is debatable and one can't expect the ins and outs of all the various arguments to be thoroughly discussed in detail in such a broad, general introduction as is typically found in the Idiot's Guides series. Ryan seems to have prudently taken the mainstream opinions in most cases and I found his special chapters on the controversial subjects to be very well-written...I'll just say that this is a really nice book which I can highly recommend and I hope it does well! - E.L.

4-0 out of 5 stars Archaeology 101
Great introduction to Archaeology. This book tells the "nuts and bolts" of the quest for our past.

Yes, it give information on "Lost Civilizations," covering everything from the ancient Egyptians, to the Incas and Aztecs, and many in between. But it also discusses some of the basics of archaeology--which you will discover is much different from the "Indiana Jones" portrayal. You'll learn how artifacts are discovered and dated, and how they are used to construct a picture of what a civilization was like.

Full of entertaining facts and trivia, and even pointers on how you as an amateur can get involved in archaeology, I'd recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in the mysteries of our past.

2-0 out of 5 stars concise overview with insurmountable errors
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Lost Civilizations is just that....a guide for complete idiots. Don't get me wrong, I purchased this book looking for an easy to understand, concise guide to lost civilizations; I wanted something to read to get a basic understanding before tackling more scholarly works. I needed a framework. The format of this book seems wonderful at that. Easy and fun to read, I would recommend this book if it were not for the gross factual errors. I am not an expert in lost civilizations, but after reading a text on both Greece and Rome, I found Ryan's book to be riddled with errors in these two sections, my favorite being the name of the first Ceasar....whose name happens to be Julius. Ryan says its Octavian...well, he's almost right. He's the second, taking the reigns from his adopted father Julius. This fact is not up for contention or debate; it's simply a is the information he got wrong about Cleopatra, Claudius, Nero, the five good emperors....Linear B. Since my knowledge is only basic and only covering two sections, I can only wonder at the misinformation piled into the rest of the book. Today I use this book as a way to study the ancient civilizations I have read about--by looking for errors in this book. If you are looking for a concise history of lost civilizations,and want to be confident in the accurateness of your newly found knowledge--look elsewhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars Utterly fascinating!
I love hearing about archaeology and seeing television documentaries on the subject but like many people, I suppose, I only had a sketchy idea about what archaeology is all about. This book is terrific! It not only explains what archaeologists do, but gives excellent brief summaries of ancient places around the world. I'd recommend this entertaining and informative book to anyone who is curious about archaeology and would enjoy a painless introduction! Excellent!!! ... Read more

174. Ancient Mesopotamia
by Susan Pollock
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
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Asin: 0521575680
Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 219649
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Through a glass darkly
I did not find the book as dry as the one reviewer did. The author is well informed and provides lots of interesting information as well as good bibliography. She is also mostly lucid and engaging. The book is well illustrated. A serious distraction in the presentation for this reader was the very heavy ideological slant adopted by the author. The political and social agendas seemed very pronounced and illustrated to some extent the idea of Foucault that all history writing is fiction. Marx's hostility to class differentiation and his dream of a future paradise of undifferentiated life in the absence of civil society shine through on many pages of the book. For example, the word "tribute" occurs ad nauseum. The author also displays some hostility to the development of complexity of social and economic life in early Mesopotamian civilization. Scholars of the Ancient Near East should give more thought to the idea of epoche or bracketing of personal prejudices as practiced in the history of religions. Despite the ideological distraction, the book is well-written and worth reading but should be balanced by a more main-stream presentation such as that by J.N. Postgate, Early Mesopotamia.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent, readable under grad textbook on Mesopotamia
I have been reading a ton about Mesopotamia lately, and this book was terrific. Be warned, though - it is written very clearly in a text book style.

It is dry writing - Dr. Pollack does not really attempt to liven up her writing with colorful stories, myths, etc. An example to contrast with is Kramer's book "History Begins at Sumer," where he tries to give a more informal, evocative spin on similar issues. (Kramer's book is itself another take on his own dry, previous book on Sumeria. Amazon has both of these, if interested.)

She is matter of fact and gets right down to business, in each of her chapters. She covers a standard set of topics for a culture - death, writing, bureaucracy, economics, etc.

So be warned - it's not written to enchant or lure you in. It feels very much like a college textbook. In this respect, it is very brief - each chapter is only 25 pages long or so. The whole book has only 224 pages of core text. Very short for a textbook - I have the trade paperback version, so it is light and thin - very easy to read,too.

But now to the meat of it: the reason I liked this book so much was exactly for the strengths that come with it being an undergrad textbook: she presents evidence and little details that are very, very interesting.

Most other books will just SAY that the Uruk period had less social differentiation than the later, more urbanized Early Dynasty periods. But she gives you little, easy to read tables and graphs that show the actual breakdowns of how much pottery was found at each time. You get to think a little for yourself as to what that means. My favorite example was when she discusses gender in pictures on Mesopotamian art. Women (or what are interpreted to possibly be women) are shown in groups making textiles. Men are shown with textiles too, but also alone, also in combat, herding animals, etc. She infers that women are not individuated like the men can be on occasion in the artwork.

The concise tables she gives are easy to peruse yourself and fun to see how archaeologists actually form conjectures as to what it actually means. I loved that. By the way, she focuses on gender along the way, a nice surprise and refreshing for most of these types of books.

Another great bit was on burial methods - in the earlier Ubaid period, the official (but not necessarily actual) societal position was that in death, we are all part of the community, not so much individuals. Graves show mostly similarity to each other. Not so for the Early Dynastic, where social differentiation is now heavily emphasized. Graves have objects that show striking disparities of wealth and status between members of society. So we can see that over time, stratification is increasing as civilization 'progresses.' Fascinating.

Are these observations interesting to you? If they seem obvious, then this book may not be so good for you. If you like a little more info on what anthropologists actually FIND, then this is a worthwhile book. Lots of little details - how scientists gauge stratification by the types of bones found in different houses; the age at which animals are killed helps determine whether they were raised primarily for meat (males killed young), or wool (both genders killed later)- these are the little things that abound, and that I just had a ball with. I liked seeing how archaeologists try to make sense of the brute artifacts themselves.

I already have a strong interest in Mesopotamia. I'm not sure if this book will be lively enough to spark an interest not already present. But I read it in a day - very easy to read. It is dry, official in its style, yet not terminologically dense. You can just see her trying to write in that academic style while having her undergrads be able to understand what her point is.

I recommend this book. I wish, though, that she spent more time on certain details: more on how widespread the infamous death pits at the Royal Cemetary at Ur were. What is the overall evidence for human sacrifice, for the death pits. Also, I was very unsatisfied with the depth she went into the actual mythology of the area. At the end, she states that two areas she wants to explore more in the future are gender and the lives of ordinary folk. So it was surprising that the meaning and the themes of the literature and mythology are not more than cursorily addressed here. I guess that is due to her archaeological approach: she talks a great deal about tombs, houses, plant findings. You can find these things in the ground. Meaning? Well....

In addition, what about sex? She addresses gender - how males and females relate socially, but not sexually. Let me tell you, I recently read a translation of the 12 tablets that Gilgamesh was written on, and there is a great deal of ripe, vivid sexuality to be seen there. Raised on Christianity, I was not used to seeing the divine and explicit sexuality together. Enkidu and the courtesan, as well as in other myths: Enlil rapes (!) his future wife Ninlil. Perhaps sexuality is too touchy for undergrads...

So in sex and the meaning of the Mesopotamian literature and religion I think she either overlooks it altogether or glides right over it.

But all in all, a great book. I'm on Amazon now seeing what else she's written...

4-0 out of 5 stars Anthropology Text
This is the book we used in our college anthropology class. There are lots of facts on farming so if you want more information on artifacts this may not be the book for you. ... Read more

175. The Aegean Bronze Age (Cambridge World Archaeology)
by Oliver Dickinson
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Asin: 0521456649
Catlog: Book (1994-03-03)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 463282
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars well documented review of Aegean Bronze Age archaeology
I found this book very helpfull while studing Aegean Prehistory in University. Comprehensive and well documented with some very helpfull plates gives a summary of Aegean Bronze Age archaeological data. Enters not so mutch in details but covers many aspects of the vast Bronze Age data of Aegean. I would strongly suggest this book for archaeology students interested in the Aegean region

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Solid Survey Book
This was an excellent overall survey of the material, and a great reference work that can be return to again and again, to harden up on the facts, and to get titles of other books and journal articles on each of the specific subject areas. It can at times get a little confusing, with the avalanche of place names and the vagueness with which he describes many of the artefacts, but you still come out knowing a heck of alot more than you did before going in. Also, he has no particular axe to grind--no big theories that can be so annoying in this field. Overall, an excellent book. ... Read more

176. Petra Rediscovered: The Lost City of the Nabataean Kingdom
by Glenn Markoe
list price: $70.00
our price: $44.10
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Asin: 0810945371
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 293122
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177. The Archaeology of Human Bones
by Simon Mays
list price: $47.95
our price: $42.67
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Asin: 0415174074
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 173097
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There is no greater direct evidence regarding earlier human populations than their physical remains. This volume provides a pragmatic and up-to-date account of forensic analysis of human skeletal remains, and its application in tackling major historical and archaeological issues. The Archaeology of Human Bones starts with an introduction to the anatomy, structure and development of bones and teeth. It analyzes the biasing effects of decay and incomplete recovery on burial data from archaeological sites, and discusses what we may learn about ancient burial rituals from human remains. Subsequent chapters focus on the demographic analysis of ancient populations, normal skeletal variation, ancient disease and injury, the chemical analysis of bone, the study of DNA, and the study of cremated remains. Examples are brought from archaeological studies around the world. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive summary of contemporary osteoarchaeology.
A superlative in-depth investigation into the complex field of osteoarchaeology--from dentition to DNA. Brimming with visual support and graphical models. Mays is not afraid to challenge the indoctrinated faithin archaeological forensics. Sure to become the definitive text on thesubject. ... Read more

178. The Resurrection of the Shroud
by Mark Antonacci
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Asin: 0871319632
Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
Publisher: M. Evans and Company
Sales Rank: 617503
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A book that must not be ignored
Bertrand Russell, a well-known atheist, was once asked what he would say if, after he died, he found that God indeed did exist. Unfazed in the least, Russell answered: "I would tell him: 'Not enough evidence, God. You didn't provide enough evidence.'"

Well, it's 2001, and scientists have been busy at work studying the Shroud of Turin for the past twenty years. But as usual, the mass media have told everybody "the scoop" about the Shroud: "It's a fake. Radiocarbon dating proves without a doubt---three well-respected international labs all agree---the cloth of the Shroud dates no earlier than 1260 A.D."

Read this book if you want to get the rest of the story. Antonacci does a fine job of reviewing all of the reasons why no skeptics have been able to demonstrate how the image on the cloth, which turns out to be an overlay of two different images, laid down at different moments---one relating to the blood flowing from over 140 wounds on the body, and the other relating to the 3-dimensional image of the body itself---could have been created by a medieval trickster. Even today, after the majority of the data hidden in the image has been revealed only by ultramodern techniques that no one in the Middle Ages could ever have conceived of, let alone anticipated by "painting" details onto the Shroud, the most dedicated and disinterested scientists who have spent years investigating the image are at a loss to explain a definitive mechanism that would account for the incredible wealth of details they can observe. These details, by the way, match eerily with the accounts handed down by the Gospels, discredited for so long by skeptics who argue only from textual inconsistencies, and who have never considered the Shroud---because it's so easy to buy into the simplistic dismissal that it must have been faked.

In company with Sherlock Holmes, Antonacci belongs to the school that believes "If you have eliminated all of the possible alternatives, then whatever remains---no matter how improbable---must be the truth." He does not flinch from the inevitable conclusion: those who have been arguing for centuries that Jesus' resurrection is a myth told by early Christians have never confronted the mass of evidence right before their very eyes, in the Shroud of Turin. The much-touted radiocarbon dating in 1988 established only that a single small piece of the cloth snipped from a border area that had been repaired in the 16th century, after being damaged by fire and water, had an "average" age somewhere in the 13th century. Antonacci makes a compelling case that the definitive dating test, based on samples drawn from all parts of the Shroud, has yet to be done, and so the question of the cloth's age is still open. (Were you aware that there was another radiocarbon dating done after the comprehensive examination of the Shroud in 1978, and that it showed one end of a fiber from the cloth was as old as 200 A.D. (plus or minus several hundred years)? No? Well, that's why you should get the book and decide for yourself.

The book's print is unnecessarily small, but there are extensive endnotes documenting each finding established by prior research. In other words, you can start here and follow the leads as far as you want to go. And no one--skeptic or believer--should disagree with Antonacci's conclusion: much more can be done to investigate the clues provided by the Shroud, and so much more should be done. The fate of future research rests with the Vatican's bureaucracy. Let's hope that this book prods them into using the very best technology available to probe into the many mysteries that still remain in the Shroud. After all, how much can a skeptic ask for? Here is the one arguably genuine artifact we have of a miracle, and to say that the case is closed, that the dating process shows the Shroud is a fake, is to deny the reality of that ultimately highly disturbing image that contains so much microscopic detail of a brutal first-century torture---down to the more than 130 welts raised by the Romans' scourging, the clots formed in each welt, and the blood serum that leaked around the edge of each clot. No one could have detected this level of detail before 1978, and now that we can do so much more, there is no excuse for putting off further inquiries. May this book get the wheels turning!

5-0 out of 5 stars most complete shroud book
i have read several books on the shroud and this is by far the most comprehensive. mark antonacci makes convincing arguements for the authenticity of the shroud. as a layman i can only believe what i read about scientific processes like carbon-14 dating, but mr. antonacci makes a strong case that the last round of test were unreliable. as i mentioned i have read 3 other books on the shroud and i learned some information from this book that you never see on the tv shows or read in the less detailed books. very good read, especially if you are intrigued by the shroud. i stayed up late and lost sleep reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT AND THOROUGH
The Shroud of Turin is the most thoroughly researched artifact in the history of the world. Because of its wealth of astonishing attributes, the Shroud of Turin has draw over a quarter million hours of research by research scientists (mostly at personal expense) between 1977 and 2000--for good reason. All this rigorous attention is due soley to the merits and rewards they have reaped as they continue discovering its wonders.

Of all the books I have read about the Shroud of Turin, this is by far the most excellent, thorough, well researched, and well documented. Yochanan (John) records in his gospel that the miracles recorded of Yeshua (Jesus) were only the tip of the iceberg (John 20:30; 21:25). Back in those days people had different opinions about the miracles: some rejected them, some doubted, some believed (but took it all for granted), and some were appreciative and glorified God. Everyone must draw their own conclusions about the Shroud--don't let others and media spin masters make up your mind for you. When it comes to the Shroud, the powerful amazement of it lies in its details. If you do not know the details, you are missing the boat. This is the book to find those details. The more technology grows, the more they research the Shroud, the more powerful and impressive it is. Quantum leaps in technology uncover, corespondingly, quantum leaps in hitherto hidden mindboggling aspects about the Shroud. It seems evident to me that Yeshua has left this as a special sign, especially for our generation. We are the first generation to have the scientific technology to fathom the wonders of the Shroud. You owe it to yourself to investigate for yourself and draw your own conclusions. This is the book to give you the best coverage and analysis of the details among all the books I have read. My commendations to the author, Mark Antonacci, for his excellent work, resulting from 20 years of writing and research!

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Addiction
If you've never been exposed to Shroud material before, "The Resurrection of the Shroud" is a worthy introduction. Mark Antonacci provides an exhaustive introduction to several shroud theories, from several different scientific fields. There are, for example, the Mandylion theory from international art history, the VP-8 3 D theory, from high tech imaging, the paint theory, from microscopic examination, the pollen theory, from botany ...

Antonacci writes well, but there are places where his prose could have benefited from a careful copy editor. Compared, though, to the often execrable writing found in many best selling books today, Antonacci's prose is just fine. There are a couple of places where he makes minor errors of fact, for example, when he refers to Veronica's veil as one of the fifteen Stations of the Cross. There are fourteen Stations of the Cross.

The insurmountable problem is, of course, that shroud scholarship is very much alive. Visit Barrie Schwortz's excellent website, and you will read active, living exchanges between high powered scholars who are convinced that diametrically opposed points of view are correct. Are there traces of paint on the shroud, or aren't there? One can find opposite opinions, firmly attested, by equally prominent scholars.

In short, the mystery of the shroud *is not* something that will be solved for you by this book. You will merely be introduced to a mystery that has gripped minds for over one hundred years, since it was first revealed, through the first photographs of the shroud, that what the naked eye sees when viewing the shroud is a blurred shadow compared with what the camera reveals in its *negative* images of the shroud.

What does all this mean? I came to Antonacci's book knowing that no definitive answer has yet been produced, and that scholars in hard sciences better qualified than I to assess evidence are convinced of the fantastic premise that the shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus.

Even though I know that the issue is not settled, Antonacci's book was a real page turner for me. I read late into the night, hoping that I would hit upon that one bit of evidence that conclusively proved either that the shroud is a fantastic forgery, or an even more fantastic artifact.

That final, conclusive bit of evidence has yet to surface, but that did not interfere with my considerable enjoyment of this book. I do recommend it, to skeptics and believers alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Evidence For the Resurrection
Science itself has proven that the greatest mystery in human history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is still an unsolved mystery. The author is neither a theologian, clergyman, scientist, nor fiction writer. He is an attorney, which makes him uniquely qualified to gather facts from different experts and present his case before the reader. He has done an outstanding job with this book.

Antonacci begins the book by proving historically that the shroud is much older than the carbon dating that was performed on it. Then he moves into the scientific realm, explaining how biology can disprove the dating.

Alot of time is spent in disproving all of the theories of how the image got on the cloth and at times is a little tedious but very thorough.

The climax at the end of the book is when the image is explained by nuclear physics. This is when it really gets interesting and leaves us wondering if the Biblical account shouldn't be taken at its word.

The author clearly makes the point that the shroud should be the most important relic in Christendom, for here we have the greatest proof that the resurrection of Christ really did occur as it is recorded in the Bible. ... Read more

179. The Prehistory of Egypt: From the First Egyptians to the First Pharaohs
by Beatrix Midant-Reynes, Ian Shaw
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0631217878
Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
Publisher: Blackwell Publishers
Sales Rank: 476595
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book covers the history of the Nile Valley from Nubia to the Mediterranean, during the period from the earliest hominid settlement, around 700,000 BC to the beginnings of dynastic Egypt at the end of the fourth millennium BC.

The book focuses primarily on the fifteen millennia from 18,000 to 3,000 BC, when different cultures can be identified, and the earliest forms of agriculture traced with some detail. Textile and ceramic production began at the end of the seventh millennia and were deployed with great skill and considerable sophistication by the beginning of the Old Dynastic Period at around 4,500 BC. By the time of the First Dynastic Period much that is considered characteristic of Ancient Egypt, such as cosmology, burial rites and decorated pottery, was already established tradition.

This account of prehistoric Egypt will be welcomed as an outstanding narrative, combining both scholarship and accessibility. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you're looking for thorough...
...this is what you need. Covering Egypt from the landmass's geological foundation right up to the end of the predynastic era. It's been freshly updated by Ian Shaw to include all of the latest arguments, especially with respect to the Paleolithic and Predynastic periods. Most Egyptologists, amateur and otherwise, will only be interested in the last two or three chapters and, in fairness, each chapter uses the lingo of the relevant field, obfuscating it to the average reader. Nonetheless, I can't think of another book which rivals this one for what it offers. ... Read more

180. The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa
by Stephen Oppenheimer
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
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Asin: 0786711922
Catlog: Book (2003-07)
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers
Sales Rank: 31614
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Out of one, and only one, major exodus from Africa 150,000 years ago by migratory African ancestors was the entire non-African world in all its racial and cultural diversity ultimately populated-so argues Stephen Oppenheimer in this groundbreaking volume that has stirred heated controversy among authorities in geology, linguistics, archaeology, and anthropology. Thoroughly researched and meticulously argued, with dramatic evidence garnered from recent advances in the field of genetics through DNA analysis, Oppenheimer traces the evolution of modern humankind out of a common African ancestry. For again and again, Oppenheimer's extensive genealogical research, based on our gender-specific so-called Adam and Eve genes, has led him straight back to Africa and placed him in direct opposition to the multiregionalists. Whereas they maintain that archaic human populations, like the Neanderthals in Europe and Homo erectus in the Far East, evolved locally into the races we know today, Oppenheimer establishes that European Neanderthals, for instance, are not ancestors of modern humans but cousins who have stemmed from the same African root. Unsettling long-established anthropological and cultural assumptions-and prejudices-Oppenheimer's provocative exploration of our human origins provides a fresh new perspective on the nature of the human destiny that all of us share. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Eve as gene flow
I found reading The Real Eve a little difficult to stick to, getting lost occasionally among all the letters identifying this group and that group. Hanging in there, though, was worth it. Most of the literature I've read recently has accepted the theory that species H. sapiens and its immediate Homo ancestors originated in and spread from Africa. Although other scenarios have been proposed from time to time, the Mitochondrial Eve study topped off the debate so that it is now taken almost as a given. What was less contentious throughout most of the discussion is the route by which the various species of our dynasty took to arrive in Europe, which was usually through the Levant to Europe and Asia. In The Real Eve Dr. Oppenheimer gives very cogent reasons for believing otherwise.

Following genetic studies conducted recently by a variety of researchers including himself, the author puts together for the reader an intriguing tale of a southern exodus across the Red Sea to Yemen and from there to coastal Asia, where the Beachcombers as he describes the culture, spread from India to the Americas and when climate permitted to the Levant and Europe. What makes his theory so forceful is the interwoven elements of genetics, archaeology, paleontology, geography and paleoclimatology with which he creates it.

What I found most fascinating was Dr. Oppenheimer's critique of the American adversarial style of archaeological and anthropological studies. His description of an entrenched elder generation vigorously fending off the encroachment of an energetic younger generation that is trying to make a name for itself by overturning respected theories is not far off the mark. Reputation means academic power and control of grants and tenure. With cut backs in government finance of education and research, these plums are harder to come by than they were, and he-and it's usually been a "he" in these situations-who controls the department controls the future of the fledgling wannabes. I saw this type of professional skirmish in action myself while studying history some time ago. The reader can see it in action by simply following the course of the debate over the peopling of the Americas that has occurred in the literature of the past 50 years. Dr. Oppenheimer gives a blunt overview of it in his book.

What is most admirable about the discussion-despite its confusion for the lay person-is the fact that the author tends to stick with genes rather than individuals. Other authors try to depict individuals like Oppenheimer's Nasreen or Cane as people to capture the reader's imagination. While this is entertaining, it also creates the false idea that "A" Nasreen lived and breathed when in fact a particular gene sequence rather than a person is what is being followed. Human beings are masses of genetic sequences which we reshuffle with each generation. I found myself getting caught up in this mystique of an individual Eve when I first started reading literature on the subject, and it took a while to get the concept clear of personalities. I think the sense of gene flow is more apparent in this work than in others I've read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tracing the beachcombers
Calling Stephen Oppenheimer a "young turk" may be a bit thin. However, his iconoclastic assault on the dogma of human global diaspora is challenging. Without overstressing it, he uses the title to trash even older dogmas. To his credit, he refrains from personal assaults as he lays out the evidence genetics provides in tracing our prehistory. In all, he manages to show how a new science is providing answers to old questions. Where did modern humanity rise? How and when did it spread over the planet to occupy nearly every available niche? What kind of future does this imply for our species?

None of these questions is easily resolved, as Oppenheimer stresses often. With earlier answers based on the imperfect fossil record, on which many fine careers have been built, offering new responses takes courage. In anthropology, the response had better have good evidence in support. His support is impressive, reaching back through time and space to our earliest origins in Africa. From there he demonstrates that our Eurocentric view of ourselves needs serious revision. Humanity reached Europe late in our migrations. European humanity didn't invent "art", agriculture didn't arise in the Fertile Crescent spreading to girdle the globe, and Native Americans likely settled the Western Hemisphere prior to the last great Ice Age.

Oppenheimer relies on two newly-developed tools in his analysis: mitochondrial DNA and mutations in the Y chromosome. Mitochondrial DNA [mtDNA], the marker handed down from mother to daughter, has already pointed to a common ancestor to us all. Living in Africa about 150 thousand years ago, she's been [regrettably] dubbed the Mitochondrial Eve. The author deplores this appellation, but accepts its nearly universal usage. The Y chromosome, passed on to sons, is a firmer marker for location, if less precise in time. He uses both to trace a new migration route for humanity. The route is along the southern shoreline from Africa, across India's triangular coastline to Southeast Asia and Australia. He reminds us that the Australian Aborigines have the longest uninterrupted heritage of all humans. Yet, he notes, they are the same as the rest of us in all important features.

The coastal route, guided by mountain ranges and ice incursions, resulted in some unexpected revelations about that European viewpoint. Instead of creeping around the eastern Mediterranean to populate Europe, these migrants, "beachcombers" in his word, entered from the Asian steppes to the east. Already inhabited by the Neandertals, this invasion ultimately displaced the indigenous population - a depressingly familiar story. Marshalling the research done over the past few years, including the genetics, the rise and fall of the seas due to ice trapping the water, and tying it to the available fossil evidence, Oppenheimer revises a century of theories. It's an exemplary summary of current research while pointing out the work remaining to be done.

To many, the most interesting chapter is the contentious field of "the Peopling of the Americas". It is here that Oppenheimer introduces some of the disputants. The issue of who emigrated to the Western Hemisphere is tightly meshed with when it occurred. The "Clovis point" stone tools, long considered the benchmark in palaeoanthropology, is sharply challenged by both fossil and genetic evidence. The genetic picture is made up of four basic branches traceable, according to the author, to Japan and eastern China. These people, he stresses, didn't flow into North America from there, however. Instead, they took up residence in a "temporary continent" - Beringia - that formed when the ice lowered sea levels.

Oppenheimer's knowledge of the research processes is clearly imparted to readers. He explains how the new science of phylogeography starts at a "twig of the molecular tree" and can trace back through time and place on a map. The map shows our wanderings, and he gives us the maps to illustrate them. He supplies diagrams of the molecular relationships acting as guides. To complete the picture, he also provides environmental charts showing how migrations were guided by changing climate. It's a vivid, complete picture, with few flaws or omissions. In fact, the only complaint i can offer about this book is the references, which are integrated in the Notes at the back of the book. To garner a list of his sources, you must read the Notes as closely as you do the main text. It's not a chore you should shun, but the cross-referencing is tedious. A tiny blemish, it detracts nothing from the book. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]

5-0 out of 5 stars Upgrading "Out of Africa" theory
As a critic of Darwinian theory I always get frustrated by the presumption that current biology has a correct theory of the descent of humans. At one and the same time research is proceeding rapidly and the amount of new data appearing is amazing, as this highly readable book testifies. Challenging current orthodoxy the author proposes a new version of the single exodus theory, based on the tidal wave of new knowledge of mitochondrial dna. While assessing all the fine details of the author's account is not easy for a non-specialist, the overall thesis is highly cogent, interesting, a sort of must-read as the debate between the multi-regionalists and the "Out of Africa" proponents takes a quantum leap in favor of the latter.
Something doesn't add up in Darwinian theory, and I am always brain-fatigued by having to compensate for wrong thinking in action as one gets new data filtered through the Darwin mindset. That's not so hard in this case, but one is left wondering at the greater implications of these findings. We don't really see the evolution of man in his diasporas, instead a whole new set of humans keeps appearing ready to go from somewhere in Africa. What's really going on here? The evolution of man is still the mystery it always was, but this book manages to move the subject into some new terrain and is well worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best popular book of its kind
Oppenheimer's book is without doubt the best of the genre that has emerged that is reporting upon the results of the Human Genome Diversity Project. Focussing exclusively upon the male Y chromosome and the female Mitochondrial DNA, it enables us to trace not just our own parentage, but that of every human on Earth. Combining paleoclimatic data as well, Oppenheimer goes a step further than "The Seven Daughters of Eve" and "The Journeys of Man". Its only weakness is that Oppenheimer seems too hung-up on his Flood = Sunda Shelf = Austronesian thesis (but it doesn't protrude too much). He also is very critical (not completely justifiably) of the linguistic work of Greenberg and Ruhlen.

For those of you wanting to "Know Thyself" this is definitely up there with Carvalli Sforza's The History and Geography of Human Genetics".



4-0 out of 5 stars Smashing!
This is by far the clearest and most exciting book out of the many on this subject over the past several years. The author is a crystal-clear thinker and presenter, and actually manages the feat of communicating a sprawling argument hingeing on genetic markers into an argument that was almost as suspenseful to me as a good novel. The data on Asia are still controversial and the archaeological data is scanty, and at this point the nature of the evidence does make the author miss a step or two in terms of his usual lucid clarity. But that's only one chapter, and hardly opaque, and then he quickly regains his footing. If you only read one book on the history of mankind and our migrations, I would recommend this one -- Oppenheimer thinks and teaches at the same time, a rare skill.

And beware the first reviewer's posting -- it is based on gut-level cavils obviously harbored before opening the book, and has nothing whatsoever to do with this fantastic piece of work, which has nothing to do with politcal correctness and is very closely argued (rather than being based on points not even "dabatable"). By my viewing, the "woman" supposedly on the cover is a man, for instance... ... Read more

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