• Civilization

By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean

The Birth of Eurasia
Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199689172
Category: Civilization
Page: 530
View: 3214
By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean is nothing less than the story of how humans first started building the globalized world we know today. Set on a huge continental stage, from Europe to China, it is a tale covering over 10,000 years, from the origins of farming around 9000 BC to the expansion of the Mongols in the thirteenth century AD. An unashamedly 'big history', it charts the development of European, Near Eastern, and Chinesecivilizations and the growing links between them by way of the Indian Ocean, the silk Roads, and the great steppe corridor (which crucially allowed horse riders to travel from Mongolia to the Great Hungarian Plainwithin a year). Along the way, it is also the story of the rise and fall of empires, the development of maritime trade, and the shattering impact of predatory nomads on their urban neighbours. Above all, as this immense historical panorama unfolds, we begin to see in clearer focus those basic underlying factors - the acquisitive nature of humanity, the differing environments in which people live, and the dislocating effect of even slight climatic variation - which havedriven change throughout the ages, and which help us better understand our world today.

    • History

On the Ocean

The Mediterranean and the Atlantic from prehistory to AD 1500
Author: Sir Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191075345
Category: History
Page: 480
View: 433
For humans the sea is, and always has been, an alien environment. Ever moving and ever changing in mood, it is a place without time, in contrast to the land which is fixed and scarred by human activity giving it a visible history. While the land is familiar, even reassuring, the sea is unknown and threatening. By taking to the sea humans put themselves at its mercy. It has often been perceived to be an alien power teasing and cajoling. The sea may give but it takes. Why, then, did humans become seafarers? Part of the answer is that we are conditioned by our genetics to be acquisitive animals: we like to acquire rare materials and we are eager for esoteric knowledge, and society rewards us well for both. Looking out to sea most will be curious as to what is out there - a mysterious island perhaps but what lies beyond? Our innate inquisitiveness drives us to explore. Barry Cunliffe looks at the development of seafaring on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, two contrasting seas — the Mediterranean without a significant tide, enclosed and soon to become familiar, the Atlantic with its frightening tidal ranges, an ocean without end. We begin with the Middle Palaeolithic hunter gatherers in the eastern Mediterranean building simple vessels to make their remarkable crossing to Crete and we end in the early years of the sixteenth century with sailors from Spain, Portugal and England establishing the limits of the ocean from Labrador to Patagonia. The message is that the contest between humans and the sea has been a driving force, perhaps the driving force, in human history.

    • History

Europe Between the Oceans

Themes and Variations, 9000 BC-AD 1000
Author: Barry W. Cunliffe
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780300170863
Category: History
Page: 518
View: 2053
In this magnificent book, distinguished archaeologist Barry Cunliffe reframes our entire conception of early European history, from prehistory through the ancient world to the medieval Viking period. Cunliffe views Europe not in terms of states and shifting political land boundaries but as a geographical niche particularly favored in facing many seas. These seas, and Europe's great transpeninsular rivers, ensured a rich diversity of natural resources while also encouraging the dynamic interaction of peoples across networks of communication and exchange. The development of these early Europeans is rooted in complex interplays, shifting balances, and geographic and demographic fluidity. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, and history, Cunliffe has produced an interdisciplinary tour de force. His is a bold book of exceptional scholarship, erudite and engaging, and it heralds an entirely new understanding of Old Europe.

    • History

Britain Begins


Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199609330
Category: History
Page: 553
View: 8720
Impressive in every sense, this hugely ambitious and assured book takes as its subject the entire history of the British Isles from the end of the last Ice Age and their physical emergence as islands all the way down to the Norman Conquest. Barry Cunliffe's magisterial narrative is abetted by correspondingly high production values, and whilst complex ideas are explained with admirable clarity, making the book an ideal introduction to Britain's prehistory and early history, there would be plenty here for the most seasoned professional to enjoy and profit from. Cunliffe kicks off with an examination of the ways in which our ancestors have conceived the distant past, from medieval myths to the dawn of modern archaeology. The remainder of the book is roughly chronological in structure. Prominent themes include the 'problem of origins', where Cunliffe's own research has been of such significance (the Celtic from the west hypothesis is synthesised here with concision and flair), and the importance of communication, connectivity and cultural transmission is emphasised throughout, with the Channel, the Atlantic and the North Sea seen as highways linking Britain and Ireland to the continent and building up an ongoing narrative which is anything but narrowly insular.

    • History

Facing the Ocean

The Atlantic and Its Peoples, 8000 BC-AD 1500
Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780192853554
Category: History
Page: 600
View: 1819
In this highly illustrated book Barry Cunliffe focuses on the western rim of Europe--the Atlantic facade--an area stretching from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Isles of Shetland.We are shown how original and inventive the communities were, and how they maintained their own distinctive identities often over long spans of time. Covering the period from the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, c. 8000 BC, to the voyages of discovery c. AD 1500, he uses this last half millennium more as a well-studied test case to help the reader better understand what went before. The beautiful illustrations show how this picturesque part of Europe has many striking physical similarities. Old hard rocks confront the ocean creating promontories and capes familiar to sailors throughout the millennia. Land's End, Finistere, Finisterra--until the end of the fifteenth century this was where the world ended in a turmoil of ocean beyond which there was nothing. To the people who lived in these remote placesthe sea was their means of communication and those occupying similar locations were their neighbours. The communities frequently developed distinctive characteristics intensifying aspects of their culture the more clearly to distinguish themselves from their in-land neighbours. But there is an added level of interest here in that the sea provided a vital link with neighbouring remote-place communities encouraging a commonality of interest and allegiances. Even today the Bretons see themselvesas distinct from the French but refer to the Irish, Welsh, and Galicians as their brothers and cousins. Archaeological evidence from the prehistoric period amply demonstrates the bonds which developed and intensified between these isolated communities and helped to maintain a shared but distinctive Atlantic identity.

    • History

The History of Central Asia

The Age of the Steppe Warriors
Author: Christoph Baumer
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 1780760604
Category: History
Page: 372
View: 8153
An illustrated history of one of the most compelling and mysterious regions on earth. It is a unique travelogue and resource and will appeal to scholars and students of antiquity, history, archaeology and religious studies. The epic plains and arid deserts of Central Asia have witnessed some of the greatest migrations, as well as many of the most transformative developments, in the history of civilization. Christoph Baumer's ambitious treatment of the region charts the 3000-year drama of Scythians and Sarmatians; Soviets and transcontinental Silk Roads; trade routes and the transmission of ideas across the steppes; and, the breathless and brutal conquests of Alexander the Great and Chinghiz Khan.

    • History

The Horse, the Wheel, and Language

How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World
Author: David W. Anthony
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 069114818X
Category: History
Page: 568
View: 3344
Roughly half the world's population speaks languages derived from a shared linguistic source known as Proto-Indo-European. But who were the early speakers of this ancient mother tongue, and how did they manage to spread it around the globe? Until now their identity has remained a tantalizing mystery to linguists, archaeologists, and even Nazis seeking the roots of the Aryan race. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language lifts the veil that has long shrouded these original Indo-European speakers, and reveals how their domestication of horses and use of the wheel spread language and transformed civilization. Linking prehistoric archaeological remains with the development of language, David Anthony identifies the prehistoric peoples of central Eurasia's steppe grasslands as the original speakers of Proto-Indo-European, and shows how their innovative use of the ox wagon, horseback riding, and the warrior's chariot turned the Eurasian steppes into a thriving transcontinental corridor of communication, commerce, and cultural exchange. He explains how they spread their traditions and gave rise to important advances in copper mining, warfare, and patron-client political institutions, thereby ushering in an era of vibrant social change. Anthony also describes his fascinating discovery of how the wear from bits on ancient horse teeth reveals the origins of horseback riding. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language solves a puzzle that has vexed scholars for two centuries--the source of the Indo-European languages and English--and recovers a magnificent and influential civilization from the past.

    • Social Science

First Migrants

Ancient Migration in Global Perspective
Author: Peter Bellwood
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118325893
Category: Social Science
Page: 328
View: 8239
The first publication to outline the complex global story of human migration and dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory. Utilizing archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence, Peter Bellwood traces the journeys of the earliest hunter-gatherer and agriculturalist migrants as critical elements in the evolution of human lifeways. The first volume to chart global human migration and population dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory, in all regions of the world An archaeological odyssey that details the initial spread of early humans out of Africa approximately two million years ago, through the Ice Ages, and down to the continental and island migrations of agricultural populations within the past 10,000 years Employs archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence to demonstrate how migration has always been a vital and complex element in explaining the evolution of the human species Outlines how significant migrations have affected population diversity in every region of the world Clarifies the importance of the development of agriculture as a migratory imperative in later prehistory Fully referenced with detailed maps throughout

    • Business & Economics

Environmental Crises in Central Asia

From steppes to seas, from deserts to glaciers
Author: Eric Freedman,Mark Neuzil
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131783609X
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 196
View: 2300
Environmental conditions do not exist in a vacuum. They are influenced by science, politics, history, public policy, culture, economics, public attitudes, and competing priorities, as well as past human decisions. In the case of Central Asia, such Soviet-era decisions include irrigation systems and physical infrastructure that are now crumbling, mine tailings that leach pollutants into soil and groundwater, and abandoned factories that are physically decrepit and contaminated with toxic chemicals. Environmental Crises in Central Asia highlights major environmental challenges confronting the region’s former Soviet republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. They include threats to the Caspian and Aral seas, the impact of climate change on glaciers, desertification, deforestation, destruction of habitat and biodiversity, radioactive and hazardous wastes, water quality and supply, energy exploration and development, pesticides and food security, and environmental health. The ramifications of these challenges cross national borders and may affect economic, political, and cultural relationships on a vast geographic scale. At the same time, the region’s five governments have demonstrated little resolve to address these complex challenges. This book is a valuable multi-disciplinary resource for academics, scholars, and policymakers in environmental sciences, geography, political science, natural resources, mass communications, public health, and economics.

    • Fiction

The Tartar Steppe


Author: Dino Buzzati,Stuart Hood
Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher
ISBN: 9781567923049
Category: Fiction
Page: 198
View: 9952
Often Likened to Kafka's The Castle, this great Italian novel, first published in 1945, is both a scathing criticism of military life and a meditation on the human thirst for glory. It tells of young Giovanni Drago, who is posted to a remote fort overlooking the vast Tartar steppe, the first line of defense against a rumored barbarian invasion. Although not intending to stay, Giovanni one day finds that years have passed, almost without his noticing, as he has come to share his fellow-soldiers' patient vigil. At last the fort is downgraded and Giovanni's ambitions fade - until the hour that the enemy begins massing on the desolate horizon...

    • Self-Help

My Little Epiphanies


Author: Aisha Chaudhary
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 9386250985
Category: Self-Help
Page: 128
View: 4482
Aisha Chaudhary was born with S.C.I.D (severe combined immune deficiency) and underwent a bone marrow transplant when she was 6 months old. She lives in New Delhi, where she was born. 2014 was a brutal year for Aisha as her disease progressed and her lungs started giving up on her. The last few months of the year felt like a roller coaster ride, one that seemed to be mostly going down. Spending almost all her time lying in bed, Aisha wrote down her thoughts to get some relief, to get them out of her head. Aisha's life is not anything like the average life of an urban teenager, but she has experienced a lifetime of emotions; life and death, fear and anger, love and hate, the depths of utter sorrow and the happiest one can be. In My Little Epiphanies she takes a hard look at her own feelings and what it was that gave her a sense of hope and control. This book gave her life purpose and meaning, something to hold on to. Sometimes Aisha's little epiphanies have morphed into doodles that capture what was going on in her mind as her destiny played itself out. Through the book she wants the world to understand her unusual life and she hopes that it will inspire others, going through similar hardships, to find peace.

    • Philosophy

Druids: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191613789
Category: Philosophy
Page: 160
View: 3863
Who were the Druids? What do we know about them? Do they still exist today? The Druids first came into focus in Western Europe - Gaul, Britain, and Ireland - in the second century BC. They are a popular subject; they have been known and discussed for over 2,000 years and few figures flit so elusively through history. They are enigmatic and puzzling, partly because of the lack of knowledge about them has resulted in a wide spectrum of interpretations. Barry Cunliffe takes the reader through the evidence relating to the Druids, trying to decide what can be said and what can't be said about them. He examines why the nature of the druid caste changed quite dramatically over time, and how successive generations have interpreted the phenomenon in very different ways. 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.

    • History

The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe


Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780192854414
Category: History
Page: 532
View: 7234
'takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the development of Western culture -- a definitive study.' -Oxford Times

    • History

Hinterlands and Commodities

Place, Space, Time and the Political Economic Development of Asia over the Long Eighteenth Century
Author: N.A
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004283900
Category: History
Page: 284
View: 4393
In Hinterlands and Commodities, well-known historians and an economist examine perennially important questions concerning temporal and spatial relationships among central places, hinterlands, commodities, and political economic developments in Asia and the Global economy over the long eighteenth century.

    • History

Against the Grain

A Deep History of the Earliest States
Author: James C. Scott
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300231687
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 6373
An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today’s states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family—all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the “barbarians” who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.

    • Adventure stories

In Desert and Wilderness


Author: Henryk Sienkiewicz
Publisher: Library of Alexandria
ISBN: 1465535349
Category: Adventure stories
Page: 405
View: 3659
The story of 14-year-old Stas Tarkowski and 8-year-old Nell Rawlinson, two European children who are kidnapped by the Mahdi's followers in 1880's Sudan, and how they escaped from their kidnappers and wandered through unfamiliar Africa for months encountering friendly and hostile Africans, and struggling with tropical nature.

    • History

The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek

The Man Who Discovered Britain
Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 0802713939
Category: History
Page: 195
View: 6734
The archaeologist-author of The Ancient Celts provides an in-depth account of the fourth-century B.C. expedition of Pytheas, a Greek explorer who traveled from the Greek colony of Massalia (Marseille) to the distant lands of northern Europe, including Britain, Denmark, and, possibly, Iceland.

    • Social Science

The Archaeology of Australia's Deserts


Author: Mike Smith
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107310539
Category: Social Science
Page: N.A
View: 677
This is the first book-length study of the archaeology of Australia's deserts, one of the world's major habitats and the largest block of drylands in the southern hemisphere. Over the last few decades, a wealth of new environmental and archaeological data about this fascinating region has become available. Drawing on a wide range of sources, The Archaeology of Australia's Deserts explores the late Pleistocene settlement of Australia's deserts, the formation of distinctive desert societies, and the origins and development of the hunter-gatherer societies documented in the classic nineteenth-century ethnographies of Spencer and Gillen. Written by one of Australia's leading desert archaeologists, the book interweaves a lively history of research with archaeological data in a masterly survey of the field and a profoundly interdisciplinary study that forces archaeology into conversations with history and anthropology, economy and ecology, and geography and Earth sciences.

    • History

Firearms

A Global History to 1700
Author: Kenneth Warren Chase
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521822749
Category: History
Page: 290
View: 5383
This book asks why Europeans perfected firearms when the Chinese had invented them by looking at how firearms were used throughout the world.