The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean provides a comprehensive overview of our current understanding of the Bronze Age Aegean (ca. 3000-1000 BC) and describes the most important debates and discussions within the discipline. Presented in four separate sections within the Handbook, the sixty-six commissioned articles cover topics ranging from chronological and geographical to thematic to site-specific. The volume will be indispensable for scholars and advanced students alike.
The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age is a wide-ranging survey of a crucial period in prehistory during which many social, economic, and technological changes took place. Written by expert specialists in the field, the book provides coverage both of the themes that characterize the period, and of the specific developments that took place in the various countries of Europe. After an introduction and a discussion of chronology, successive chapters deal with settlement studies, burial analysis, hoards and hoarding, monumentality, rock art, cosmology, gender, and trade, as well as a series of articles on specific technologies and crafts (such as transport, metals, glass, salt, textiles, and weighing). The second half of the book covers each country in turn. From Ireland to Russia, Scandinavia to Sicily, every area is considered, and up to date information on important recent finds is discussed in detail. The book is the first to consider the whole of the European Bronze Age in both geographical and thematic terms, and will be the standard book on the subject for the foreseeable future.
This Handbook aims to serve as a research guide to the archaeology of the Levant, an area situated at the crossroads of the ancient world that linked the eastern Mediterranean, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Unique in its treatment of the entire region, it offers a comprehensive overview and analysis of the current state of the archaeology of the Levant within its larger cultural, historical, and socio-economic contexts. Written by leading scholars inthe field, it focuses chronologically on the Neolithic through Persian periods - a time span during which the Levant was often in close contact with the imperial powers of Egypt, Anatolia, Assyria, Babylon, andPersia. This volume will serve as an invaluable reference work for those interested in a contextualised archaeological account of this region, beginning with the tenth millennium BC 'agricultural revolution', until the conquest of Alexander the Great that marked the end of the Persian period.
Tracing the evolution of the state from its beginnings to the early Middle Ages, this comprehensive handbook focuses on key institutions and dynamics while providing accessible accounts of states and empires in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean.
The Middle Helladic period has received little attention, partially because of scholars' view of it as merely the prelude to the Mycenaean period and partially because of the dearth of archaeological evidence from the period. In this book, Helène Whittaker demonstrates that Middle Helladic Greece is far more interesting than its material culture might at first suggest. Whittaker comprehensively reviews and discusses the archaeological evidence for religion on the Greek mainland, focusing on the relationship between religious expression and ideology. The book argues that religious beliefs and rituals played a significant role in the social changes that were occurring at the time. The arguments and conclusions of this book will be relevant beyond the Greek Bronze Age and will contribute to the general archaeological debate on prehistoric religion.
How Social Development Decides the Fate of Nations
Author: Ian Morris
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Social Science
In the last thirty years, there have been fierce debates over how civilizations develop and why the West became so powerful. The Measure of Civilization presents a brand-new way of investigating these questions and provides new tools for assessing the long-term growth of societies. Using a groundbreaking numerical index of social development that compares societies in different times and places, award-winning author Ian Morris sets forth a sweeping examination of Eastern and Western development across 15,000 years since the end of the last ice age. He offers surprising conclusions about when and why the West came to dominate the world and fresh perspectives for thinking about the twenty-first century. Adapting the United Nations' approach for measuring human development, Morris's index breaks social development into four traits--energy capture per capita, organization, information technology, and war-making capacity--and he uses archaeological, historical, and current government data to quantify patterns. Morris reveals that for 90 percent of the time since the last ice age, the world's most advanced region has been at the western end of Eurasia, but contrary to what many historians once believed, there were roughly 1,200 years--from about 550 to 1750 CE--when an East Asian region was more advanced. Only in the late eighteenth century CE, when northwest Europeans tapped into the energy trapped in fossil fuels, did the West leap ahead. Resolving some of the biggest debates in global history, The Measure of Civilization puts forth innovative tools for determining past, present, and future economic and social trends.
The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Death and Burial reviews the current state of mortuary archaeology and its practice, highlighting its often contentious place in the modern socio-politics of archaeology. It contains forty-four chapters which focus on the history of the discipline and its current scientific techniques and methods. Written by leading, international scholars in the field, it derives its examples and case studies from a wide range of time periods, such as the middle palaeolithic to the twentieth century, and geographical areas which include Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia. Combining up-to-date knowledge of relevant archaeological research with critical assessments of the theme and an evaluation of future research trajectories, it draws attention to the social, symbolic, and theoretical aspects of interpreting mortuary archaeology. The volume is well-illustrated with maps, plans, photographs, and illustrations and is ideally suited for students and researchers.
The Iliad, Homer's epic tale of the abduction of Helen and the decade-long Trojan War, has fascinated mankind for millennia. Even today, the war inspires countless articles and books, extensive archaeological excavations, movies, television documentaries, even souvenirs and collectibles. But while the ancients themselves believed that the Trojan War took place, scholars of the modern era have sometimes derided it as a piece of fiction. Combining archaeological data and textual analysis of ancient documents, this Very Short Introduction considers whether or not the war actually took place and whether archaeologists have really discovered the site of ancient Troy. To answer these questions, archaeologist and ancient historian Eric H. Cline examines various written sources, including the works of Homer, the Epic Cycle (fragments from other, now-lost Greek epics), classical plays, and Virgil's Aeneid. Throughout, the author tests the literary claims against the best modern archaeological evidence, showing for instance that Homer, who lived in the Iron Age, for the most part depicted Bronze Age warfare with accuracy. Cline also tells the engaging story of the archaeologists--Heinrich Schliemann and his successors Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Carl Blegen, and Manfred Korfmann--who found the long-vanished site of Troy through excavations at Hisarlik, Turkey. Drawing on evidence found at Hisarlik and elsewhere, Cline concludes that a war or wars in the vicinity of Troy probably did take place during the Late Bronze Age, forming the nucleus of a story that was handed down orally for centuries until put into final form by Homer. But Cline suggests that, even allowing that a Trojan War took place, it probably was not fought because of Helen's abduction, though such an incident may have provided the justification for a war actually fought for more compelling economic and political motives. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.