Deep History

Deep History

The Architecture of Past and Present

Book - 2011
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University of California Press
Humans have always been interested in their origins, but historians have been reluctant to write about the long stretches of time before the invention of writing. In fact, the deep past was left out of most historical writing almost as soon as it was discovered. This breakthrough book, as important for readers interested in the present as in the past,brings science into history to offer a dazzling new vision of humanity across time. Team-written by leading experts in a variety of fields, it maps events, cultures, and eras across millions of years to present a new scale for understanding the human body, energy and ecosystems, language, food, kinship, migration, and more. Combining cutting-edge social and evolutionary theory with the latest discoveries about human genes, brains, and material culture, Deep History invites scholars and general readers alike to explore the dynamic of connectedness that spans all of human history.

With Timothy Earle, Gillian Feeley-Harnik, Felipe Fernández-Armesto, Clive Gamble, April McMahon, John C. Mitani, Hendrik Poinar, Mary C. Stiner, and Thomas R. Trautmann


"Ranging across the disciplines, this truly collaborative team cuts through the constraints of our previous notions of historical understanding and points towards a fundamental new way of thinking about history."--Lynn Hunt, author of Measuring Time, Making History

"In recent decades, history as a discipline has increasingly portrayed humans as an exception in the story of life, as though all other life-forms were part of nature but humans somehow were not, or not quite. This book issues a profound and timely challenge to that implicit assumption and argues for an integration of deep and recorded human pasts. The challenge is profound, because it is at once methodological and philosophical, and it is timely in the way it resonates with concerns about our growing ecological footprint on the planet. This collaborative enterprise will appeal to students of human pasts in a variety of disciplines." --Dipesh Chakrabarty, author of Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference

"Leading scholars in deep history have been brought together from a variety of disciplines in this ambitious project. The result is constantly exciting. I read barely a page that didn't cause me to reconsider how we might tell the human story."--Martin Jones, University of Cambridge

"In Deep History: The Architecture of Past and Present, a multi-disciplinary team of historians, archeologists, paleontologists, primatologists, and anthropologists takes up the challenge of incorporating the past six million or so years into the record of human history. Combining open minds with scholarly rigor, the authors use linguistics and genetics, trails of bones, shells and crafted objects, dietary traditions, and kinship rules to follow our footloose species out of Africa and around the globe, along the way dismantling barriers between disciplines that have outlived their usefulness." --Sarah B. Hrdy, author of Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection





Publisher: Berkeley ; London : University of California Press, c2011
Description: xvii, 342 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780520274624
0520274628
9780520270282
Branch Call Number: 599.938 Shy
Additional Contributors: Earle, Timothy K.
Smail, Daniel Lord

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Mar 21, 2016

The first few chapters, the one on food, and the last chapter, are those that have the least academic tedium infused in their contributions. The others are somewhat uneven by comparison. The writing quality is quite good, certainly far better than the magazine-writing filled books that are so common nowadays. The subject that it deals with is fascinating, and this book gives a serious overview of it, together with a lengthy bibliography for the pursuit of it further.

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