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Lost Civilisations Of The Stone Age: A Journey Back to Our Cultural Origins Paperback – 2 Sep 1999

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (2 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099223724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099223726
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 510,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

* `Wonderful reading. . . illuminating. . . a zest for discovery that makes it a page-turner' NATURE


Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Though one of the unconventional books on archeaology, it is not so outlandish that no 'conventional' archeologist can accept it. In fact the book does mention that archeaologists in the conventional field are divided on when civilisation began.
The book argues that civilisation didn't begin overnight but rather developed gradually along with evolution of humans and that what has 'been started' by other type of humans/hominids was to continue by modern humans when they appeared later.
While those who describe these 'unconventional' views as 'fantasy', others may see the logic of it. I'm one of them. To me, the view of 'suddeness' is fantasy unless we were visited by exterrestial beings who taught us 'civilisation' which in my opinion did not happen.
I found the book a bit boring in parts but only because the author seems to go into minute detail. Others may prefer this style of writing so it's a matter of personal choice.
I'd recommend the book to anyone interested in archaeology, especially on the subject prehistory.
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Format: Paperback
This is a really well written and stimulating book. It looks at a variety of aspects of civilisation: language, writing, pottery, surgery and so on. What he shows is that evidence for these goes back a long way before the conventional view of the beginning of civilisation. The book shows an excellent knowledge of a wide range of recent archeological evidence from around the world. He shows how the achievements of the early Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilisations did not come from nowhere, but were the end of a gradual processes of cultural development thta had been occuring for 10s and even 100 of thousands of years. I found some of this really eye opening (particularly the evidence on languages and writing.
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
By bringing together evidence from archaeology, ancient history, linguistics and anthropology, the author argues that the inventions, achievements and discoveries of prehistoric times have all but been edited out of popular accounts of human history. The work investigates art, language, symbolic activity, writing, musical instruments, astronomy, mathematics, artifacts & tools, surgery & medicine, ceramic technology and mining. Rudgley provides convincing evidence that the current division between history & prehistory is artificial and faulty.

He describes how Stone Age explorers discovered all the world's land masses, presents strong evidence for writing before 5000 BC and for mathematical, medical and astronomical science as well as tool-making and mining long before the Sumerians. Much evidence of sophisticated cultures exists from the Neolithic (about 10 000 years ago), in Europe, the Near East & Japan. Tracing the human story from the cusp of history back to the earliest known artifacts, he shows that the making of rugs, dental drilling, mining, pyrotechnology and accountancy among others, were all known in this period.

But not only that - the other "ideological wall" placed at about 40 000 BC is also being shown up to be highly dubious as many anomalous cases of earlier symbolic and artistic activities are coming to light. I found chapters 2 - 5, on language & writing, of particular interest as it deals with the work of inter alia Colin Renfrew, Dolgopolsky, Greenberg, Ruhlen & Starostin, including macrofamilies like Eurasiatic, Nostratic, Dene-Sino-Caucasian and the search for the mother tongue Proto-Human or Proto-World.
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Format: Paperback
Rudgley's book cannot be taken seriously as an attempt to re-write pre-history. His argument is confused at the outset by his failure to define 'civilisation' and his apparent tacit adoption of an unreasonably wide definition, which makes it very easy for him to claim cheap success. The mainstream ideas he attacks are mostly 'straw men'. Much of his specific 'evidence' is linguistic (or at least involves what are claimed to be early manifestations of written language), but this is discussed within the framework of the highly controversial ideas of Gimbutas. The evidence for anything resembling written language at the relevant dates is, to say the least, tenuous. Rudgley also relies heavily on fringe philological theories. He has in no way demonstrated his case...
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