Human evolution tends to be understood in terms of a development from inferior to superior, primitive to advanced, the simple to the complex. In this book Gamble attempts to dispel some of the myths and distortions that this way of perceiving the human past has produced. He looks at human prehistory and behaviour through a detailed study of global colonization and adaptation to climate and environment, and seeks to introduce a fresh approach to the causes behind this dispersal of humans. In the course of his study he presents the latest findings of prehistoric archaeology, and a critique of the attitudes of early European explorers and twentieth-century scholars to the question of human origins.
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Clive Gamble is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Southampton. He has been involved in archaeological fieldwork in Britain, Russia, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Alaska, and Australia.From Library Journal:
The author, a British anthropologist and archaeologist, asserts that fundamental issues about world prehistory go unexamined and that the question we ought to be asking is, "Why were humans everywhere?" In the course of exploring this question, Gamble draws upon a stunning range of sources, from fossil and tool-making finds of the past two centuries to routes of global colonization that lead out of sub-Saharan Africa. Gamble's ability to present an enormous depth and breadth of information in a clean and often witty style is nothing short of breathtaking. He argues that colonization was a purposeful process, the result of behavioral change or "exaptation" rather than "adaptation." Gamble aims throughout to emphasize our common humanity with our ancestors in prehistory. His questions and vision will no doubt raise intense scholarly debates. Recommended for informed readers and specialists.
- Joan Gartland, Detroit P.L.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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