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The past few years have seen a revolution in our ability to map whole genome DNA from ancient humans. With the ancient DNA revolution, combined with rapid genome mapping of present human populations, has come remarkable insights into our past. This important new data has clarified and added to our knowledge from archaeology and anthropology, helped resolve long-existing controversies, challenged long-held views, and thrown up some remarkable surprises. The emerging picture is one of many waves of ancient human migrations, so that all populations existing today are mixes of ancient ones, as well as in many cases carrying a genetic component from Neanderthals, and, in some populations, Denisovans. David Reich, whose team has been at the forefront of these discoveries, explains what the genetics is telling us about ourselves and our complex and often surprising ancestry. Gone are old ideas of any kind of racial 'purity', or even deep and ancient divides between peoples. Instead, we are finding a rich variety of mixtures. Reich describes the cutting-edge findings from the past few years, and also considers the sensitivities involved in tracing ancestry, with science sometimes jostling with politics and tradition. He brings an important wider message: that we should celebrate our rich diversity, and recognize that every one of us is the result of a long history of migration and intermixing of ancient peoples, which we carry as ghosts in our DNA. What will we discover next?
The lectures on which this publication is based were delivered as the Rhind Lectures to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in May 2019. The annual Rhind Lectures commemorate Alexander Henry Rhind (1833-1863), a Fellow of the Society renowned for his excavations (finds from which are now in the National Museum of Scotland) and publications. The 2019 lectures were generously sponsored by AOC Archaeology Group. The first two lectures - chapters in this book - provide the historiographical background to our present understanding of Hadrian's Wall. They start with John Collingwood Bruce, the leading authority on the Wall, from 1848 until his death in 1892, who gave the Rhind lectures in 1883 and whose influence continues to this day. Research on the Wall in the field and in the study from 1892 to the present day are covered in the second lecture. The third and fourth lectures consider the purpose(s) and operation of Hadrian's Wall from the first plan drawn up soon after Hadrian became emperor in 117 through to the final days of its existence as a frontier shortly after 400. Five distinct `plans' for the Wall are promulgated. The fifth lecture examines the impact of the frontier on the people living in its shadow and beyond. The last lecture reviews the processes which have brought us to an understanding of Hadrian's Wall and considers the value of research strategies, with some suggestions for the way forward. The chapters in this book reflect closely the lectures themselves with the main change being the addition of references.
A new narrative history of the Viking Age, interwoven with exploration of the physical remains and landscapes that the Vikings fashioned and walked: their rune-stones and ship burials, settlements and battlefields. To many, the word `Viking' brings to mind red scenes of rape and pillage, of marauders from beyond the sea rampaging around the British coastline in the last gloomy centuries before the Norman Conquest. It is true that Britain in the Viking Age was a turbulent, violent place. The kings and warlords who have impressed their memories on the period revel in names that fire the blood and stir the imagination: Svein Forkbeard and Edmund Ironside, Ivar the Boneless and Alfred the Great, Erik Bloodaxe and Edgar the Pacifier amongst many others. Evidence for their brutality, their dominance, their avarice and their pride is still unearthed from British soil with stunning regularity. But this is not the whole story. In Viking Britain, Thomas Williams has drawn on his experience as project curator of the British Museum exhibition of Vikings: Life and Legend to show how the people we call Vikings came not just to raid and plunder, but to settle, to colonize and to rule. The impact on these islands was profound and enduring, shaping British social, cultural and political development for hundreds of years. Indeed, in language, literature, place-names and folklore, the presence of Scandinavian settlers can still be felt, and their memory - filtered and refashioned through the writings of people like J.R.R. Tolkien, William Morris and G.K.Chesterton - has transformed the western imagination. This remarkable book makes use of new academic research and first-hand experience, drawing deeply from the relics and landscapes that the Vikings and their contemporaries fashioned and walked: their runestones and ship burials, settlements and battlefields, poems and chronicles. The book offers a vital evocation of a forgotten world, its echoes in later history and its implications for the present.
Was an advanced civilization lost to history in the global cataclysm that ended the last Ice Age? Graham Hancock, the internationally bestselling author, has made it his life's work to find out -- and in America Before, he draws on the latest archaeological and DNA evidence to bring his quest to a stunning conclusion. We've been taught that North and South America were empty of humans until around 13,000 years ago - amongst the last great landmasses on earth to have been settled by our ancestors. But new discoveries have radically reshaped this long-established picture and we know now that the Americas were first peopled more than 130,000 years ago - many tens of thousands of years before human settlements became established elsewhere. Hancock's research takes us on a series of journeys and encounters with the scientists responsible for the recent extraordinary breakthroughs. In the process, from the Mississippi Valley to the Amazon rainforest, he reveals that ancient 'New World' cultures share a legacy of advanced scientific knowledge and sophisticated spiritual beliefs with supposedly unconnected 'Old World' cultures. Have archaeologists focussed for too long only on the 'Old World' in their search for the origins of civilization while failing to consider the revolutionary possibility that those origins might in fact be found in the 'New World'? America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilisation is the culmination of everything that millions of readers have loved in Hancock's body of work over the past decades, namely a mind-dilating exploration of the mysteries of the past, amazing archaeological discoveries and profound implications for how we lead our lives today.
A new account of the famous site and story of the last stand of a group of Jewish rebels who held out against the Roman Empire Two thousand years ago, 967 Jewish men, women, and children "the last holdouts of the revolt against Rome following the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple "reportedly took their own lives rather than surrender to the Roman army. This dramatic event, which took place on top of Masada, a barren and windswept mountain overlooking the Dead Sea, spawned a powerful story of Jewish resistance that came to symbolize the embattled modern State of Israel. The first extensive archaeological excavations of Masada began in the 1960s, and today the site draws visitors from around the world. And yet, because the mass suicide was recorded by only one ancient author "the Jewish historian Josephus "some scholars question if the event ever took place. Jodi Magness, an archaeologist who has excavated at Masada, explains what happened there, how we know it, and how recent developments might change understandings of the story. Incorporating the latest findings, she integrates literary and historical sources to show what life was like for Jews under Roman rule during an era that witnessed the reign of Herod and Jesus (TM)s ministry and death. Featuring numerous illustrations, this is an engaging exploration of an ancient story that continues to grip the imagination today.
Almost Human is the personal story of a charismatic and visionary palaeontologist, a rich and readable narrative about science, exploration, and what it means to be human.
In 2013, Wits University reasearch professor Lee Berger caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave near Johannesburg. He put out a call around the world for collaborators – men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of ‘underground astronauts’, Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known pre-hominids with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger's team had discovered an all new species: Homo naledi.
The cave proved to be the richest pre-hominid site ever discovered, full of implications that challenge how we define ourselves as human. Did these ancestors of ours bury their dead? If so, they must have had an awareness of death, a level of self-knowledge: the very characteristic we used to define ourselves as human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us?
Addressing these questions, Berger counters the arguments of those colleagues who have questioned his controversial interpretations and astounding finds.
In The World of Dinosaurs, paleontologist Dr Mark Norell takes a detailed look at everything we know about these wondrous creatures, drawing on the very latest research in the field. Produced in association with the American Museum of Natural History and drawing on their archives, Norell examines every facet of the dinosaur mystery, from the scattering of dinosaur fossils after the breakup of Pangea to the different categorizations of these monstrous reptiles. Even subjects you may think you know about - such as the species' extinction - are looked at in a new light. Illustrated with exceptional scientific recreations of key species, as well as documentary photographs, sketches and notes from dino discoveries, this is the ultimate photographic reference book on dinosaurs.
Nearly 13,000 years ago millions of people and animals were wiped out, and the world plunged abruptly into a new ice-age. It was more than a thousand years before the climate, and mankind, recovered. The people of Gobekli Tepe in present-day southern Turkey, whose ancestors witnessed this catastrophe, built a megalithic monument formed of many hammer-shaped pillars decorated with symbols as a memorial to this terrible event. Before long, they also invented agriculture, and their new farming culture spread rapidly across the continent, signalling the arrival of civilisation. Before abandoning Gobekli Tepe thousands of years later, they covered it completely with rubble to preserve the greatest and most important story ever told for future generations. Archaeological excavations began at the site in 1994, and we are now able to read their story, more amazing than any Hollywood plot, again for the first time in over 10,000 years. It is a story of survival and resurgence that allows one of the world's greatest scientific puzzles - the meaning of ancient artworks, from the 40,000 year-old Lion-man figurine of Hohlenstein-Stadel cave in Germany to the Great Sphinx of Giza - to be solved. We now know what happened to these people. It probably had happened many times before and since, and it could happen again, to us. The conventional view of prehistory is a sham; we have been duped by centuries of misguided scholarship. The world is actually a much more dangerous place than we have been led to believe. The old myths and legends, of cataclysm and conflagration, are surprisingly accurate. We know this because, at last, we can read an extremely ancient code assumed by scholars to be nothing more than depictions of wild animals. A code hiding in plain sight that reveals we have hardly changed in 40,000 years. A code that changes everything.
If you drive through Mpumalanga with an eye on the landscape flashing by, you may see, near the sides of the road and further away on the hills above and in the valleys below, fragments of building in stone as well as sections of stone-walling breaking the grass cover. Endless stone circles, set in bewildering mazes and linked by long stone passages, cover the landscape stretching from Ohrigstad to Carolina, connecting over 10 000 square kilometres of the escarpment into a complex web of stone-walled homesteads, terraced fields and linking roads. Oral traditions recorded in the early twentieth century named the area Bokoni – the country of the Koni people. Few South Africans or visitors to the country know much about these settlements, and why today they are deserted and largely ignored. A long tradition of archaeological work which might provide some of the answers remains cloistered in universities and the knowledge vacuum has been filled by a variety of exotic explanations – invoking ancient settlers from India or even visitors from outer space – that share a common assumption that Africans were too primitive to have created such elaborate stone structures. Forgotten World defies the usual stereotypes about backward African farming methods and shows that these settlements were at their peak between 1500 and 1820, that they housed a substantial population, organised vast amounts of labour for infrastructural development, and displayed extraordinary levels of agricultural innovation and productivity. The Koni were part of a trading system linked to the coast of Mozambique and the wider world of Indian Ocean trade beyond. Forgotten World tells the story of Bokoni through rigorous historical and archaeological research, and lavishly illustrates it with stunning photographic images.
`If you want to know how we know what we know about dinosaurs, read this book!' Steve Brusatte Over the past twenty years, the study of dinosaurs has changed from natural history to a true scientific discipline. New technologies have revealed secrets locked in the prehistoric bones in ways that nobody predicted - we can now work out the colour of dinosaurs, their bite forces, top speeds, and even how they cared for their young. Remarkable new fossil finds, such as giant sauropod dinosaur skeletons from Patagonia, dinosaurs with feathers from China, and even a tiny dinosaur tail in Burmese amber - complete down to every detail of its filament-like feathers, skin, bones, and mummified tail muscles - have caused media sensations. New fossils are the lifeblood of modern palaeobiology of course, but it is the advances in technologies and methods that have allowed the revolution in the scope and confidence of the field. Dinosaurs Rediscovered gathers together all the latest palaeontological evidence and takes us behind the scenes on the expeditions and in museum laboratories, tracing the transformation of dinosaur study from its roots in antiquated natural history to a highly technical, computational, and indisputably scientific field today. Benton explores what we know of the world of the dinosaurs, how dinosaur remains are found and excavated, and especially how palaeontologists read the details of the life of the dinosaurs from the fossils - their colours, their growth, feeding and locomotion, how they grew from egg to adult, how they sensed the world, and even whether we will ever be able to bring them back to life. Dinosaurs are still very much a part of our world.
"The Southern Ocean is a wild and elusive place, an ocean like no other. With its waters lying between the Antarctic continent and the southern coastlines of Australia, New Zealand, South America, and South Africa, it is the most remote and inaccessible part of the planetary ocean, the only part that flows around Earth unimpeded by any landmass. It is notorious amongst sailors for its tempestuous winds and hazardous fog and ice. Yet it is a difficult ocean to pin down. Its southern boundary, defined by the icy continent of Antarctica, is constantly moving in a seasonal dance of freeze and thaw. To the north, its waters meet and mingle with those of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans along a fluid boundary that defies the neat lines of a cartographer." So begins Joy McCann's Wild Sea, the remarkable story of the world's remote Southern, or Antarctic, Ocean. Unlike the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic Oceans with their long maritime histories, little is known about the Southern Ocean. This book takes readers beyond the familiar heroic narratives of polar exploration to explore the nature of this stormy circumpolar ocean and its place in Western and Indigenous histories. Drawing from a vast archive of charts and maps, sea captains' journals, whalers' log books, missionaries' correspondence, voyagers' letters, scientific reports, stories, myths, and her own experiences, McCann embarks on a voyage of discovery across its surfaces and into its depths, revealing its distinctive physical and biological processes as well as the people, species, events, and ideas that have shaped our perceptions of it. The result is both a global story of changing scientific knowledge about oceans and their vulnerability to human actions and a local one, showing how the Southern Ocean has defined and sustained southern environments and people over time. Beautifully and powerfully written, Wild Sea will raise a broader awareness and appreciation of the natural and cultural history of this little-known ocean and its emerging importance as a barometer of planetary climate change.
The thrilling history of archaeological adventure, with tales of danger, debate, audacious explorers, and astonishing discoveries around the globe What is archaeology? The word may bring to mind images of golden pharaohs and lost civilizations, or Neanderthal skulls and Ice Age cave art. Archaeology is all of these, but also far more: the only science to encompass the entire span of human history-more than three million years! This Little History tells the riveting stories of some of the great archaeologists and their amazing discoveries around the globe: ancient Egyptian tombs, Mayan ruins, the first colonial settlements at Jamestown, mysterious Stonehenge, the incredibly preserved Pompeii, and many, many more. In forty brief, exciting chapters, the book recounts archaeology's development from its eighteenth-century origins to its twenty-first-century technological advances, including remote sensing capabilities and satellite imagery techniques that have revolutionized the field. Shining light on the most intriguing events in the history of the field, this absolutely up-to-date book illuminates archaeology's controversies, discoveries, heroes and scoundrels, global sites, and newest methods for curious readers of every age.
Since the late 1980s the dominant theory of human origins has been that a 'cognitive revolution' (C.50,000 years ago) led to the advent of our species, Homo sapiens. As a result of this revolution our species spread and eventually replaced all existing archaic Homo species, ultimately leading to the superiority of modern humans. Or so we thought. As Clive Finlayson explains, the latest advances in genetics prove that there was significant interbreeding between Modern Humans and the Neanderthals. All non-Africans today carry some Neanderthal genes. We have also discovered aspects of Neanderthal behaviour that indicate that they were not cognitively inferior to modern humans, as we once thought, and in fact had their own rituals and art. Finlayson, who is at the forefront of this research, recounts the discoveries of his team, providing evidence that Neanderthals caught birds of prey, and used their feathers for symbolic purposes. There is also evidence that Neanderthals practised other forms of art, as the recently discovered engravings in Gorham's Cave Gibraltar indicate. Linking all the recent evidence, The Smart Neanderthal casts a new light on the Neanderthals and the 'Cognitive Revolution'. Finlayson argues that there was no revolution and, instead, modern behaviour arose gradually and independently among different populations of Modern Humans and Neanderthals. Some practices were even adopted by Modern Humans from the Neanderthals. Finlayson overturns classic narratives of human origins, and raises important questions about who we really are.
WELLS CATHEDRAL - GERMAN
"The Treasures of Ancient Egypt" is a succinct but wide-ranging history of our search for knowledge about Ancient Egypt, a time-traveller's account of the story. It traces the interest in ancient Egypt from imperial Rome through Arab travellers and historians, the Renaissance in Europe, the early travellers and Napoleon's Egyptian expedition to the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs by Jean-Francois Champollion in 1822 and the subsequent development of Egyptology as a scholarly subject, right to the present. Memorabilia items include the following: one of the first maps of Egypt made by Paul Lucas over the course of three voyages between 1699 and 1717; papers Relating to to Richard Lepsius' 1840s Prussian expedition to record ancient monuments; Howard Carter's diary recording the day he discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun; and, watercolours by Auguste Mariette produced during his discovery of the Memphite Serapeum in the 1850s.
From the Victorian golden age of dinosaur discovery to the cutting edge of twenty-first century fossil forensics Dinosaurs unravels the mysteries of the most spectacular group of animals our planet has ever seen. Despite facing drastic climatic conditions including violent volcanic activity, searing temperatures and rising and plunging sea levels, the dinosaurs formed an evolutionary dynasty that ruled the Earth for more than 150 million years. Darren Naish and Paul Barrett reveal the latest scientific findings about dinosaur anatomy, behaviour, and evolution. They also demonstrate how dinosaurs survived the great extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period and continued to evolve and thrive alongside us, existing today as an incredibly diverse array of birds that are the direct descendants of theropods. Dinosaurs is lavishly illustrated with specimens from the Natural History Museum's own collections, along with explanatory diagrams and charts and full-colour artistic reconstructions of dinosaur behaviour.
Agatha Christie's widower's recollections of his archaeological triumphs and life with Agatha. In these informal, often witty and always interesting memoirs, Sir Max Mallowan tells the story of his life, from his boyhood at Lancing where he was a contemporary of Evelyn Waugh, to the days when he was elected a Fellow of All Souls and succeeded another eminent archaeologist, his friend Sir Mortimer Wheeler, as a Trustee of the British Museum. The author was initiated into field archaeology at Ur by Leonard Woolley in 1925, and it was Woolley who first introduced him to a visiting novelist, Agatha Christie. After further excavations, Sir Max began working independently in Assyria, to which he returned each year until the outbreak of war. In 1939 he joined the Royal Air Force and was involved in several eccentric exploits before volunteering to go the Middle East where he filled various outlandish posts with skill and aplomb. Throughout the pre-war years, the author was accompanied on all his digs by Agatha Christie, who was not only a delightful companion and organizer of creature comforts, but also took an active part in the photography, recording and preservation of the finds: some of the humorous odes she composed about her colleagues are included in these pages. Following the account of his wartime activities, Sir Max devotes four chapters to his wife's achievements as a supreme craftsman in puzzling and holding under her spell innumerable readers, audiences and film-goers throughout the world. The climax of the memoirs is suitably concerned with the author's triumphant discoveries at Nimrud or Calah, the ancient capital of Assyria. Photographs of his most attractive finds are included among the excellent illustrations to this book.
Discover the hidden corners and forgotten crevices of Britain's landscapes, from lost rural treasures to unseen urban gems. Landscapes reflect and shape our behaviour. They make us who we are and bear witness to the shifting patterns of human life over the generations. Bringing to bear a lifetime's digging, archaeologist Francis Pryor delves into Britain's hidden urban and rural landscapes, from Whitby Abbey to the navvy camp at Risehill in Cumbria, from Tintagel to Tottenham's Broadwater Farm. Through fields, woods, moors, roads, tracks and towns, he reveals the stories of our physical surroundings and what they meant to the people who formed them, used them and lived in them. These landscapes, he stresses, are our common physical inheritance. If we can understand how to make them yield up their secrets, it will help us, their guardians, to maintain and shape them for future generations.
The third volume of the Beni Hassan series is devoted to the recording and study of the Twelfth Dynasty tomb of Amenemhat, great overlord of the Oryx nome. It presents a new and complete record of the tomb's scenes in drawing and coloured photographs, and comrpises the translation and interpretation of all scenes and inscriptions in the tomb, including that of Amenemhat's biography which recounts in detail his career and participation in military campaigns. The volume additionally includes new architectural drawings and an architectural report on one of the most impressive and complete tombs of Middle Kingdom Egypt.
An entirely fresh and accessible approach to reading ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs by a proven expert, this step-by-step introduction assumes no previous knowledge of grammar or ancient languages, but guides readers through the inscriptions, from simple to more complex, supported by full explanations and translations. Readers' will see their knowledge and skills grow as Bill Manley clearly explains the mysteries of hieroglyphs without jargon or technical terms, guiding the reader step by step through 27 real-life, unaltered texts from stelae, tombs and portable objects. Specially commissioned line drawings present engaging texts clearly and elegantly, while fact boxes bring to life images of monuments of high officials and kings, giving glimpses of ancient Egyptian society and beliefs. This guide is essential reading for anyone interested in Ancient Egypt, hieroglyphs or ancient languages and contains all the knowledge you need in order to start deciphering hieroglyphic texts for yourself.
Anasazi, the Navajos' name for the "Ancient Ones" who preceded them into the Southwest, is the nickname of Richard Wetherill, who devoted his life to a search for remains of these vanished peoples. He discovered the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde and Kiet Siel and the Basket Maker sites at Grand Gulch, Utah, and at Chaco Canyon he initiated the excavation of Pueblo Bonito, the largest prehistoric ruin in the United States. His discoveries are among the most important ever made by an American archaeologist.
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