Summary: When a melting Swiss glacier recently revealed the body of a hunter millenia old, the world sat up and took notice. Here, in his well-preserved arrows, tools, and leather garments (not to mention his own remains) was a rare glimpse of life in prehistoric Europe, and it captured the public imagination. Elsewhere more obvious remnants of the pre-classical past have long been objects of fascination: the megaliths of northwestern Europe, the palaces of Crete, the mysteri ...show moreous cave paintings of France. Now archeologist Barry Cunliffe and a team of distinguished experts shed light on this astonishing, long-silent world in a comprehensive and lavishly illustrated account. Ranging from the earliest settlements through the emergence of Minoan civilization to the barbarian world at the end of the Roman Empire, The Oxford Illustrated Prehistory of Europe provides a fascinating look at how successive cultures adapted to the landscape of Europe. In synthesizing the diverse findings of archeology, the authors capture the sweeping movements of peoples, the spread of agriculture, the growth of metal working, and the rise and fall of cultures. They provide intriguing insight on the Minoan and the Mycenean past underlying classical Greek history, and on the disasters that destroyed Minoan civilization. They explore the increasingly sophisticated societies of northern Europe, revealing surprisingly far-reaching trade between different areas. The peoples of Bronze Age Denmark, for instance, sent amber to Germany in return for scarce metal, while new technologies spread widely across the continent. The book continues through the end of the Roman Empire, exploring the barbarian world beyond Rome's northern frontier.
For centuries, we knew little of the European civilizations that preceded classical Greece or arose outside of the Roman Empire, beyond ancient myths and the writings of Roman observers. Now the most recent discoveries of archeology have been synthesized into one exciting volume. Featuring hundreds of stunning photographs (many in full color), this book provides the most complete account available of the prehistory of European civilization.