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Climate Change in Prehistory : The End of the Reign of Chaos - William James Burroughs

Climate Change in Prehistory

The End of the Reign of Chaos

Hardcover Published: 13th June 2005
ISBN: 9780521824095
Number Of Pages: 356

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How did humankind deal with the extreme challenges of the last Ice Age? How have the relatively benign post-Ice Age conditions affected the evolution and spread of humanity across the globe? By setting our genetic history in the context of climate change during prehistory, the origin of many features of our modern world are identified and presented in this illuminating book. It reviews the aspects of our physiology and intellectual development that have been influenced by climatic factors, and how features of our lives - diet, language and the domestication of animals - are also the product of the climate in which we evolved. In short: climate change in prehistory has in many ways made us what we are today. Climate Change in Prehistory weaves together studies of the climate with anthropological, archaeological and historical studies, and will fascinate all those interested in the effects of climate on human development and history.

Industry Reviews

From the hardback review: 'This is an intriguing book of unexpected relevance to the 21st century. The main narrative is a climate history from the last ice age to the 10,000 years of relative tranquillity that has followed. Burroughs also shows how humans took advantage of this period of calm to build a vaulting dominance of the planet. He invites hard questions on how societies will cope with the return to climatic turbulence.' New Scientist From the reviews of the author's previous books: Weather Cycles: Real or Imaginary? (1994, Cambridge University Press) '... a book whose clarity and breadth of vision set it apart.' Scientific American '... neatly written and excellently presented piece of popular science.' Keith Shine, Times Higher Education Supplement Does the Weather Really Matter? The Social Implications of Climate Change (1997, Cambridge University Press) '... a fascinating account of the effect of climate on human history.' William Hartston, Independent Climate: Into the 21st Century (2003, Cambridge University Press) 'There is probably no more complete, single popular volume on where we are with our weather.' Fred Pearce, New Scientist From the hardback review: '... a coherent presentation of how the climate around the world has changed over the last 100,000 years, and investigates how climate and human history have interacted over that time.' History Today 'There is an excellent discussion of late Ice Age and Holocene climatic shifts as Burroughs crafts a 'climatic template' for prehistory.' Times Higher Education Supplement 'A wealth of data combined in a well-written synopsis Climate Change in Prehistory provides a valuable synopsis for [those] interested in the effects of climate on human societies.' Journal of Comparative Human Biology ' ... a highly readable exploration into how humankind dealt with the severity of a glacial environment during the last ice age, and the opportunities that arose during ... the early Holocene ... seamless weaving together of multiple aspects of anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and genetics ... an excellent introductory text into how climate and human prehistory are intertwined and the text's focus on regional studies can be quite useful to archaeologists ... readable and understandable to students and researchers of all related disciplines, which is what makes this text very desirable ... excellent starting point for archaeologists and anthropologists of all disciplines.' Archaeological Review '... this excellent book draws together strands of the climate debate by reviewing research into the effects of climate change on humanity since the Pleistocene. ... I learned a good deal from my interesting read. ... I recommend this well-written, readable overview to all.' Weather ' ... well illustrated. It includes sections on prehistoric rock art, civilisations based on agriculture, and impacts of climatic change ... Climate Change in Prehistory can be strongly recommended to students interested in the effect of climate change on human populations within the Late Quaternary ... well written and serves to promote public awareness of the significance of climatic change in modern and prehistoric contexts.' South African Archaeological Bulletin

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgementsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Cave paintingsp. 2
DNA sequencingp. 8
Archaeological foundationsp. 10
Where do we start?p. 11
What do we cover?p. 12
Climate rules our livesp. 16
The interaction between history and climate changep. 17
The climate of the past 100 000 yearsp. 18
Defining climate change and climatic variabilityp. 19
The emerging picture of climate changep. 22
Proxy datap. 26
Do ice-core and ocean-sediment data relate to human experience?p. 31
Changes during the last ice agep. 37
The end of the last ice agep. 43
The Holocenep. 47
Changes in climate variabilityp. 51
Just how chaotic is the climate?p. 56
Changes in sea levelp. 57
Causes of climate changep. 63
The lunatic fringep. 70
Conclusion: a climatic templatep. 72
Life in the ice agep. 74
The climatology of the last ice agep. 75
The early stages of the ice agep. 82
Oxygen Isotope Stage Three (OIS3)p. 86
The last glacial maximum (LGM)p. 93
The implications of greater climatic variabilityp. 99
Lower sea levelsp. 102
Genetic mappingp. 104
Walking out of Africap. 109
The transition to the Upper Palaeolithicp. 115
Settling on the plains of Moraviap. 119
Life on the mammoth steppes of Asiap. 120
Shelter from the stormp. 124
The first fishermen of Galileep. 125
Wadi Kubbaniya and the Kom Ombo Plainp. 127
Three-dog nightsp. 129
Of lice and menp. 132
The evolutionary implications of living with the ice agep. 135
Bottlenecksp. 136
The Upper Palaeolithic Revolutionp. 141
Europeans' palaeolithic lineagep. 144
Physiquep. 147
The broad spectrum revolutionp. 148
Concerning tortoises and haresp. 151
Gender rolesp. 153
Anthropomorphisation: a pathetic fallacy or the key to survival?p. 160
The importance of networksp. 165
Did we domesticate dogs or did dogs domesticate us?p. 167
Emerging from the ice agep. 169
The North Atlantic Oscillationp. 170
Europe, the Middle East and North Africap. 175
East and South Asiap. 179
Africa and the southern hemispherep. 181
North Americap. 182
Mass extinctions of big gamep. 184
The origins of agriculturep. 188
Natufian culturep. 193
Catalhoyukp. 194
People and forests move back into northern Europep. 197
The spread of farming into Europep. 204
The peopling of the New Worldp. 207
Concerning brown bears and hairless dogsp. 214
A European connection?p. 215
Flood mythsp. 217
The formation of the Nile Deltap. 222
The lost Saharan pastoral idyllp. 223
The Bantu expansionp. 232
ENSO comes and ENSO goesp. 233
Recorded historyp. 236
Climatic conditions in Europe during the mid-Holocenep. 237
East Asia in the mid-Holocenep. 239
Agricultural productivity: the abundance of Mesopotamiap. 240
Egypt: a paradigm for stabilityp. 244
The price of settling downp. 248
The first great 'dark age'p. 250
The demonisation of the pigp. 255
The Sea Peoplesp. 256
The continuing catalogue of 'dark ages'p. 258
Our climatic inheritancep. 261
Did we have any choice?p. 262
Regaining our palaeolithic potentialp. 265
Warfarep. 270
Climatic determinism: the benefits of temperate zonesp. 276
Ambivalence to animalsp. 282
Updating of gender rolesp. 283
The futurep. 285
Climate change and variability revisitedp. 286
Are we becoming more vulnerable to climatic variability?p. 291
Can we take global warming in our stride?p. 293
Which areas are most vulnerable to increased variability?p. 295
The threat of the flickering switchp. 298
Supervolcanoes and other natural disastersp. 302
Datingp. 303
Glossaryp. 312
Referencesp. 323
Bibliographyp. 341
Indexp. 347
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521824095
ISBN-10: 0521824095
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 356
Published: 13th June 2005
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.73

Earn 190 Qantas Points
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