Book summary: A thorough exploration of the nature and processes that led to civilization can be successfully accomplished by examining well-known archaeological areas in depth and within a comparative framework. This newly revised edition of Ancient Civilizations embraces this useful approach and remains the only in-depth overview that provides detailed discussions of both New World and Old World civilizations within the same book. The material is well presented in a lively yet authoritative manner by two highly regarded anthropologists. All educators and readers concerned with the factual and theoretical issues surrounding ancient civilizations in the Near East, South and Central Asia, and Mesoamerica will find this to be an indispensable volume. A considerably expanded concluding chapter provides insights into some of the current debates about the development of ancient civilizations.
1. The History of History
A Resume of Historical Views / The Archaeological Evidence / Recent Anthropological Perspectives
2. Agricultural Communities: The Near Eastern Evidence
The Neolithic Revolution / The Era of Incipient Cultivation / Evidence of Sedentary Food Production / The Mesopotamian Lowlands
3. The Rise of Civilization
The Ecological Basis: Contrasts and Consistencies / The Egyptian Civilization / The Sumerian Civilization / The Indus Civilization / The Oxus Civilization
4. Ancient Mesoamerican Civilization
Geography and Climate / The Rise of Agriculture / The Cultures of Ancient Mesoamerica / Teotihuacan / The Toltecs / The Aztecs
5. General Considerations
The Independent Development of Old and New World Civilizations / Urban Settlement / Political Systems and Historical Inquiry / Economics and Trade / Ideology: Social Action and Cultural Change
Titles of related interest also available from Waveland Press: Fagan, Quest for the Past: Great Discoveries in Archaeology, Second Edition (ISBN 9780881337914) and Kehoe-Pleger, Archaeology: A Concise Introduction (ISBN 9781577664505).