In this magnificent book, distinguished archaeologist Barry
Cunliffe reframes our entire conception of early European history,
from prehistory through the ancient world to the medieval Viking
period. Cunliffe views Europe not in terms of states and shifting
political land boundaries but as a geographical niche particularly
favored in facing many seas. These seas, and Europe's great
transpeninsular rivers, ensured a rich diversity of natural
resources while also encouraging the dynamic interaction of peoples
across networks of communication and exchange. The development of
these early Europeans is rooted in complex interplays, shifting
balances, and geographic and demographic fluidity.
Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, and history, Cunliffe has
produced an interdisciplinary tour de force. His is a bold book of
exceptional scholarship, erudite and engaging, and it heralds an
entirely new understanding of Old Europe.
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