Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop Black Friday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Paperwhite Listen in Prime Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars26
4.6 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2013
Despite my high esteem for Chris Stringer's Homo Britannicus and Barry Cunliffe's Europe Between the Oceans and Britain Begins, those books fell short of satisfying my thirst for the full integration of recent DNA findings with archaeology and its specialties. Now at last we have that in this brand new book Ancestral Journeys.

I think this book would be equally good as an overview for someone not yet familiar with the field of population genetics or the origin of the people of Europe, and as a deskside reference to European DNA for someone more familiar with the field.

The illustrations are very skilfully placed and referenced in the text, not distracting as in some books. Well done to the editor who laid all that out.

This book makes going to primary sources easy, with everything footnoted.

The book passed my two toughest tests: I spotted only one misprinted word, and the minefield of my own complicated Y-DNA haplogroup is negotiated judiciously; in fact, it is such a good description that I will probably start quoting it.

The whole book is written in an executive summary style, with short sentences usually stating only one fact. What a pleasure to read, compared to academic papers. But the text is not dumbed-down, such as by calling haplogroups by names like "Rory" or "Helen". All the correct detail is there, even if it is smoothed out for quicker reading. An example is replacing the non-self-descriptive term "Younger Dryas" with "big freeze." I like that.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2013
One of the very best books I have ever read to put readers into the picture regarding the latest understandings of human settlement history in Europe and beyond from the earliest hunters to Medieval times. It is written is a style that somehow balances a lot of detail with conveying the big picture in a nicely flowing narrative. Its a very useful book full of references to the latest research that would be of interest and very good reference source to professional archaeologists like myself but written in a narrative style that the general reader interested in Europe's human history but without any detailed knowledge would very much enjoy too. Its the first book that really combines the new DNA evidence with the latest archaeological and linguistic research in a way that provides the big picture. This book will save the reader having to wade through hundreds of disperate papers and publications across several disciplines by bringing it all together.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2014
Jean Manco draws together DNA evidence with archaeological and linguistic discoveries in this book.
The work indicates that waves of mass movement rather than population continuity in prehistoric and early historic times lay behind the formation of the various peoples and nations of Europe.

This is backed up by a recent Oxford University genetic map by Sir Walter Bodmer snd Mark Robinson which shows a heavy Germanic influence from Yorkshire to the south coast and Dorset to Kent. Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall have different genetic clusters. It seems that Bede's famous account of the coming of the Saxons was correct after all!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2013
Many books try to tell the story of how Europe was peopled but fail - in some ways - by concentrating on one part of a very complex story. Jean Manco succeeds, with Ancestral Journeys,because she uses evidence from different fields to build a convincing case. More importantly for the lay reader, she makes the science easy to understand and weaves it into a good and solid story.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2014
I read this book with great interest and even greater joy page after page. Ms Jean Marco has managed to combine a number of different sciences and create a synthesis showing what we know today about who we are in Europe. The Basis for this study is the present and always developing science of DNA analysis.

I was very pleased to find out that Ms Marco has managed to present information in such a way that if you want to ponder individual haplogroups you can, but what it all leads to is the focus of the story. Her ability to clearly tell you what we know of our past from the Stone Age to basically 1 000 AD is extremely impressive. The Support through the book of a large number of maps are also first class.

Having read this book a huge number of question marks have been lifted from my understanding of our ancient past but also a number of new ones have arrived that begs to be answered. I do hope there will be an update of this book every five or ten years since the science of DNA analysis are taking such great leaps forward. We might actually be able to tell where these Basques came from!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2014
No long introductions or waffle here. The book jumps straight into the subject matter, fusing DNA evidence with linguistics, (supported by archaeological evidence where necessary) to paint a picture of ancestral migration across Europe. The casual reader might find it a little intense, in which case a quick refresher in (Roman and after) European history might be useful .
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2014
I've been going around telling people that the old migration stories are fanciful and populations were much more stable that Romantic archaeology realised for so long that it came as a slap in the face to read this excellent summary in DNA evidence by Jean Manco. There is no last word in this story, but I certainly feel humbled and corrected by Manco's comprehensive good sense and mastery of the materials. Good job. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in where we come from.
It is also an invaluable corrective to over-confident assertions like the ones I was making.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2014
I loved this book, despite struggling at times with all the changing names of peoples/tribes, ancestral areas. It doesn't have all the answers and doesn't pretend to, but it points to what is potentially knowable (we need more datable bodies!) and synthesises information from a range of disciplines in a way which amounts to more than the sum of parts. One for re-reading, probably more than once.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2015
This is a very well researched and therefore authoritative book with numerous helpful maps and illustrations, extensive footnotes and a long list of sources. It has greatly added to my layman's previously vague and defective understanding of ancient migrations.I hesitated before awarding five stars because, for me, the detail is so great that the book comes close to being a work of reference rather than a book to read. Nevertheless, highly recommended if you are willing to grapple with a subject which cannot be made simple without being dumbed down.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2014
The unfolding story of mankind's journey from Africa is becoming more familiar to us thanks to the media's continuing interest. Jean Manco's book is a good read and clearly expressed. For those already familiar with much of the research, this doesn't add a great deal, but for anyone coming to the subject fresh - it is well worth reading.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
The Celts
The Celts by Alice Roberts (Hardcover - 6 Oct. 2015)

Blood of the Celts: The New Ancestral Story
Blood of the Celts: The New Ancestral Story by Jean Manco (Hardcover - 7 Sept. 2015)


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.