- Paperback: 340 pages
- Publisher: Simon and Schuster; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (1 Jun. 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684862700
- ISBN-13: 978-0684862705
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 998,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age Paperback – 1 Jun 1996
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Wonderful reading...illuminating...a zest for discovery that make it a page turner.
Will transform our view of B.C.
The author's review of prehistoric cultural achievements is erudite and fascinating....
Doris Lessing"Literary Review"Will transform our view of B.C.
John Robb"Nature"Wonderful reading...illuminating...a zest for discovery that make it a page turner.
"Kirkus Reviews"The author's review of prehistoric cultural achievements is erudite and fascinating....
John Robb "Nature" Wonderful reading...illuminating...a zest for discovery that make it a page turner.
Doris Lessing "Literary Review" Will transform our view of B.C.
"Kirkus Reviews" The author's review of prehistoric cultural achievements is erudite and fascinating....
From the Back Cover
An authoritative, eye-opening look at Stone Age civilizations that explodes traditional portrayals of prehistory
The rise of historical civilization 5,000 years ago is often depicted as if those societies were somehow created out of nothing. However, recent discoveries of astonishing accomplishments from the Neolithic Age -- in art, technology, writing, math, science, religion, medicine and exploration -- demand a fundamental rethinking of humanity before the dawn of written history.
In this fascinating book, Richard Rudgley describes how
-- The intrepid explorers of the Stone Age discovered all of the world's major land masses long before the so-called Age of Discovery
-- Stone Age man performed medical operations, including amputations and delicate cranial surgeries
-- Paleolithic cave artists of Western Europe used techniques that were forgotten until the Renaissance
-- Prehistoric life expectancy was better than it is for contemporary third-world populations
Rudgley reminds us just how savage so-called civilized people can be, and demonstrates how the cultures that have been reviled as savage were truly civilized. The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age shows the great debt that contemporary society owes to its prehistoric predecessors. It is a rich introduction to a lost world that will redefine the meaning of civilization itself.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
The book draws on a range of disciplines, such as anthropology, archeology, medicine (a stunning account of trepanning; the practice of making a hole in the skull, with evidence of good survival rates) technologies, (drilling and mining) linguistics and maths.
Some of his material is quite densely written and needs careful consideration to follow his arguments, and as other reviewers have said, some his assertions (e.g. about writing) are less well argued. However, overall he offers a compelling range of evidence that dismantles some of the long held ideas about the human race, and the concept of civilisation, what is is and when it "started".
To summarise, if you are a person with huge curiosity about our ancestors and you have always doubted that "civilisation" just suddenly sprang into being with the start of the Egyptian dynasty, this book is a highly informative, extensively illustrated and stimulating read. Great fodder for brain.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'll keep this short and concise, in contrast to this book which, although slimline, made for a surprisingly laborious slog of a read. Why was the book laborious? Read morePublished on 7 Mar. 2012 by Iset