Prehistory A Very Short Introduction

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Prehistory

Author : Chris Gosden
ISBN : 9780198803515
Genre : History
File Size : 37.48 MB
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Prehistory covers the period of some 4 million years before the start of written history, when our earliest ancestors, the Australopithecines, existed in Africa. But this is relatively recent compared to whole history of the earth of some 4.5 billion years. A key aspect of prehistory is that it provides a sense of scale, throwing recent ways of life into perspective. Humans and their ancestors lived in many different ways and the cultural variety we see now is just a tiny fraction of that which has existed over millions of years. Humans are part of the broader evolution of landscapes and communities of plants and animals, but Homo sapiens is also the only species to have made a real impact on planetary systems. To understand such an impact, we need a grasp of our longest term development and ways of life. In this new edition of his Very Short Introduction, Chris Gosden invites us to think seriously about who we are by considering who we have been. As he explains, many new discoveries have been made in archaeology over the last ten years, and a new framework for prehistory is emerging. A greater understanding of Chinese and central Asian prehistory has thrown Eurasian prehistory in quite a different light, with flows of the influence of culture over large areas now evident. This has eaten away at the traditional view of human progress around the invention of agriculture, the development of cities, and (much later) the industrial revolution, and has given us new geographies to think about. Chris Gosden explores the new landscape of our prehistory and considers the way the different geographical locations weave together. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Prehistory A Very Short Introduction

Author : Chris Gosden
ISBN : 0192803433
Genre : History
File Size : 44.12 MB
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Many of the familiar aspects of modern life are no more than a century or two old, yet our deep social structures and skills were in large measure developed by small bands of our prehistoric ancestors many millennia ago. The reader is invited to think seriously about who we are by considering who we have been.
Category: History

Prehistory A Very Short Introduction

Author : Chris Gosden
ISBN : 9780191577789
Genre : History
File Size : 58.81 MB
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This VSI to prehistory will introduce the reader to four and a half million years of human existence. Many of the familiar aspects of modern life are no more than a century or two old, yet our deep social structures and skills were in large measure developed by small bands of our prehistoric ancestors many millennia ago. Chris Gosden invites us to think seriously about who we are by considering who we have been. The idea of prehistory owes its origins to Darwin - suddenly any description of human life on Earth had to take account of a much longer timespan than ever before. What new views of ourselves has this new timespan opened up? Chris Gosden's fascinating new book asks: What relationships did our distant ancestors have with the natural world, with each other, and with the objects and values they created? And as humanity hurtles into a future of virtual interraction and genetic manipulation, what can the darkest recesses of our past teach us about our future? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Archaeology A Very Short Introduction

Author : Paul Bahn
ISBN : 9780199657438
Genre : History
File Size : 73.80 MB
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The explorations of archaeology encompass the whole globe, survey 2.5 million years, and range from deserts to jungles, from deep caves to mountain tops, and from pebble tools to GPS. Its efforts to reconstruct and understand the past do not fail to fascinate us. Paul Bahn explores the importance of archaeology in this entertaining introduction.
Category: History

The Celts A Very Short Introduction

Author : Barry Cunliffe
ISBN : 9780191577871
Genre : History
File Size : 55.60 MB
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Savage and bloodthirsty, or civilized and peaceable? The Celts have long been a subject of enormous fascination, speculation, and misunderstanding. From the ancient Romans to the present day, their real nature has been obscured by a tangled web of preconceived ideas and stereotypes. Barry Cunliffe seeks to reveal this fascinating people for the first time, using an impressive range of evidence, and exploring subjects such as trade, migration, and the evolution of Celtic traditions. Along the way, he exposes the way in which society's needs have shaped our visions of the Celts, and examines such colourful characters as St Patrick, Cú Chulainn, and Boudica. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Dinosaurs A Very Short Introduction

Author : David Norman
ISBN : 9780192804198
Genre : Medical
File Size : 56.12 MB
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This is the first accessible book to explain the most recent findings in dinosaur reasearch. It tells the story behind the exciting scientific discoveries that have built up a picture of how dinosaurs looked, what they ate, and how they moved and interacted with each other.
Category: Medical

Linguistics A Very Short Introduction

Author : P. H. Matthews
ISBN : 9780191577512
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 23.36 MB
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Linguistics falls in the gap between arts and science, on the edges of which the most fascinating discoveries and the most important problems are found. Rather than following the conventional organization of many contemporary introductions to the subject, the author of this stimulating guide begins his discussion with the oldest, 'arts' end of the subject and moves chronologically through to the newest research - the 'science' aspects. A series of short thematic chapters look in turn at such areas as the prehistory of languages and their common origins, language and evolution, language in time and space (the nature of change inherent in language), grammars and dictionaries (how systematic is language?), and phonetics. Explication of the newest discoveries pertaining to language in the brain completes the coverage of all major aspects of linguistics from a refreshing and insightful angle. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Organizations A Very Short Introduction

Author : Mary Jo Hatch
ISBN : 9780191614989
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 75.61 MB
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Most of us recognize that organizations are everywhere. You meet them on every street corner in the form of families and shops, study in them, work for them, buy from them, pay taxes to them. But have you given much thought to where they came from, what they are today, and what they might become in the future? How and why do they have so much influence over us, and what influences them? How do they contribute to and detract from the meaningfulness of lives, and how might we improve them so they better serve our needs and desires? This Very Short Introductions addresses all of these questions and considers many more. Mary Jo Hatch introduces the concept of organizations by presenting definitions and ideas drawn from the a variety of subject areas including the physical sciences, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, literature, and the visual and performing arts. Drawing on examples from prehistory and everyday life, from the animal kingdom as well as from business, government, and other formal organizations, Hatch provides a lively and thought provoking introduction to the process of organization. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Social Science

Chinese Literature

Author : Sabina Knight
ISBN : 9780195392067
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 59.34 MB
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This book tells the story of Chinese literature, from prehistory to the present, in terms of literary culture's key role in supporting social and political concerns. A welcome guide for teachers, students, and lay readers, Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction honors traditional Chinese understandings of literature as encompassing history and philosophy, as well as the evolution of poetry and poetics, storytelling, drama, and the novel.
Category: Business & Economics

Ancient Greece A Very Short Introduction

Author : Paul Cartledge
ISBN : 9780199601349
Genre : History
File Size : 74.91 MB
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Introduces major topics in ancient Greek civilization through the development of eleven characteristic city states, ranging from prehistoric Cnossos through Byzantion, and including the future Marseilles as well as Athens and Sparta.
Category: History

Archaeology

Author : Paul G. Bahn
ISBN : STANFORD:36105018394986
Genre : Archaeology
File Size : 42.42 MB
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A short introduction to archaeology that discusses the basic techniques, the history of archaeological study, the origins of archaeology, the most influential scholars, and other related topics.
Category: Archaeology

War And Technology

Author : Alex Roland
ISBN : 9780190605384
Genre : Military art and science
File Size : 54.54 MB
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"Warfare and technology predate human history. The dynamic relationship between them is timeless, echoing through human history in patterns that link the bow and arrow with the IED (improvised explosive device), the walls of Jericho with reconnaissance satellites. This book traces those patterns, from the Scheoningen spears to cyberwarfare."--Provided by publisher.
Category: Military art and science

The Ice Age A Very Short Introduction

Author : Jamie Woodward
ISBN : 9780191664632
Genre : History
File Size : 55.75 MB
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The study of the Quaternary ice age has revolutionized ideas about Earth system change and the pace of landscape and ecosystem dynamics. The Ice Age: A Very Short Introduction looks at evidence from the continents, the oceans, and the ice core records, and the human stories behind it all. Jamie Woodward examines the remarkable environmental shifts that took place during the Great Ice Age of the Quaternary Period. He explores the evolution of ideas, evaluates the contributions of the leading players in the great debates, and presents some of the ingenious methods that have been used to retrieve information about the recent geological past. In an era of warming climate, the study of the ice age past is now more important than ever. This book examines the wonders of the Quaternary ice age - to show how ice age landscapes and ecosystems were repeatedly and rapidly transformed as plants, animals, and humans reorganized their worlds. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

The History Of Astronomy A Very Short Introduction

Author : Michael Hoskin
ISBN : 9780191577734
Genre : Science
File Size : 75.8 MB
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Astronomy, perhaps the first of the sciences, was already well developed by the time of Christ. Seventeen centuries later, after Newton showed that the movements of the planets could be explained in terms of gravitation, it became the paradigm for the mathematical sciences. In the nineteenth century the analysis of star-light allowed astrophysicists to determine both the chemical composition and the radial velocities of celestial bodies, while the development of photography enabled distant objects invisible to the human eye, to be studied and measured in comfort. Technical developments during and since the Second World War have greatly enlarged the scope of the science by permitting the study of radiation. This is a fascinating introduction to the history of Western astronomy, from prehistoric times to the origins of astrophysics in the mid-nineteenth century. Historical records are first found in Babylon and Egypt, and after two millennia the arithmetical astronomy of the Babylonians merged with the Greek geometrical approach to culminate in the Almagest of Ptolemy. This legacy was transmitted to the Latin West via Islam, and led to Copernicus's claim that the Earth is in motion. In justifying this Kepler converted astronomy into a branch of dynamics, leading to Newton's universal law of gravity. The book concludes with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century applications of Newton's law, and the first explorations of the universe of stars. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Paganism A Very Short Introduction

Author : Owen Davies
ISBN : 9780191620010
Genre : Religion
File Size : 56.60 MB
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'Paganism' is an evocative word that, even today, conjures up deep-seated emotions and prejudices. Until recently, it was primarily a derogatory term used by Christians to describe the non-Christian cultures confronted and vanquished by their Churches. For some it evokes images of sacrifice and barbaric behaviour, while for others it symbolises a peace-loving, nature-worshipping spiritual relationship with the earth. This Very Short Introduction explores the meaning of paganism - through a chronological overview of the attitudes towards its practices and beliefs - from the ancient world through to the present day. Owen Davies largely looks at paganism through the eyes of the Christian world, and how, over the centuries, notions and representations of its nature were shaped by religious conflict, power struggles, colonialism, and scholarship. Despite the expansion of Christianity and Islam, Pagan cultures continue to exist around the world, whilst in the West new formations of paganism constitute one of the fastest-growing religions. Focussing on paganism in Europe, but exploring the nature of paganism globally, Davies looks at how Europeans discovered new cultures through colonial expansion, missionary work, and anthropological study. Contemporary social paganism can be a liberating and social force, and the idea of a global Pagan theology is now on the religious map. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Religion

Ancient Egypt A Very Short Introduction

Author : Ian Shaw
ISBN : 9780191578403
Genre : History
File Size : 67.79 MB
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The ancient Egyptians are an enduring source of fascination - mummies and pyramids, curses and rituals have captured the imagination of generations. We all have a mental picture of ancient Egypt, but is it the right one? How much do we really know about this great civilization? In this absorbing introduction, Ian Shaw describes how our current ideas about Egypt are based not only on the thrilling discoveries made by early Egyptologists but also on fascinating new kinds of evidence produced by modern scientific and linguistic analyses. He also explores the changing influences on our responses to these finds, through such media as literature, cinema and contemporary art. Each chapter deals with a different aspect of ancient Egypt, from despotic pharaohs to dismembered bodies, and from hieroglyphs to animal-headed gods. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

War And Technology A Very Short Introduction

Author : Alex Roland
ISBN : 9780190605391
Genre : History
File Size : 24.54 MB
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The war instinct is part of human nature, but the means to fight war depend on technology. Alex Roland traces the co-evolution of technology and warfare from the Stone Age to the age of cyberwar, describing the inventions that changed the direction of warfare throughout history: from fortified walls, the chariot, battleships, and the gunpowder revolution to bombers, rockets, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and nuclear weapons. In the twenty-first century, new technologies continue to push warfare in unexpected directions, while warfare stimulates stunning new technological advances. Yet even now, the newest and best technology cannot guarantee victory. Brimming with dramatic narratives of battles and deep insights into military psychology, this book shows that although military technologies keep changing at great speed, the principles and patterns behind them abide.
Category: History

Introductory Readings In Anthropology

Author : Hilary Callan
ISBN : 9780857454409
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.57 MB
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Anthropology seeks to understand the roots of our common humanity, the diversity of cultures and world-views, and the organisation of social relations and practices. As a method of inquiry it embraces an enormous range of topics, and as a discipline it covers a multitude of fields and themes, as shown in this selection of original writings. As an accessible entry point, for upper-level students and first year undergraduates new to the study of anthropology, this reader also offers guidance for teachers in exploring the subject's riches with their students. That anthropology is an immensely expansive inquiry of study is demonstrated by the diversity of its topics – from nature conservation campaigns to witchcraft beliefs, from human evolution to fashion and style, and from the repatriation of indigenous human remains to research on literacy. There is no single 'story of anthropology'. Taken together, these fundamental readings are evidence of a contemporary, vibrant subject that has much to tell us about all the worlds in which we live.
Category: Social Science

Human Evolution A Very Short Introduction

Author : Bernard Wood
ISBN : 9780192803603
Genre : Science
File Size : 53.54 MB
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This introduction traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the 18th century to the latest fossil finds. It concentrates on the fossil evidence for human evolution, making reference to the relevant archaeological evidence when appropriate.
Category: Science

Western Civilization

Author : Jackson J. Spielvogel
ISBN : 9780357363171
Genre : History
File Size : 83.59 MB
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Bestselling author Jackson Spielvogel has helped over 1 million students learn about the present by exploring the past. His engaging narrative weaves the political, economic, social, religious, intellectual, cultural and military aspects of history into a gripping story that is as memorable as it is instructive. Updated to reflect current scholarship, WESTERN CIVILIZATION, 11th Edition includes excerpts of more than 250 primary sources -- showing you the source material historians use to interpret the past. Detailed maps and vivid photographs bring chapter concepts to life, while a variety of learning tools make this edition accessible to any learning style. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
Category: History