The world (2nd ed )

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Language: Anglais

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1152 p. · 22.9x27.3 cm · Hardback

The Worldinterweaves two stories-of our interactions with nature and with each other. The environment-centered story is about humans distancing themselves from the rest of nature and searching for a relationship that strikes a balance between constructive and destructive exploitation. The culture-centered story is of how human cultures have become mutually influential and yet mutually differentiating. Both stories have been going on for thousands of years. We do not know whether they will end in triumph or disaster.

There is no prospect of covering all of world history in one book. Rather, the fabric of this book is woven from selected strands. Readers will see these at every turn, twisted together into yarn, stretched into stories. Human-focused historical ecology-the environmental theme-will drive readers back, again and again, to the same concepts: sustenance, shelter, disease, energy, technology, art. (The last is a vital category for historians, not only because it is part of our interface with the rest of the world, but also because it forms a record of how we see reality and of how the way we see it changes.) In the global story of human interactions-the cultural theme-we return constantly to the ways people make contact with each another: migration, trade, war, imperialism, pilgrimage, gift exchange, diplomacy, travel-and to their social frameworks: the economic and political arenas, the human groups and groupings, the states and civilizations, the sexes and generations, the classes and clusters of identity.

Brief Contents

Contents

Maps

Special Features

Getting the Most Out of the Maps in The World

About Felipe Fernßndez-Armesto

From the Author to the Reader

Introducing The World

Acknowledgments

A Note on Dates and Spelling

Part 1: Foragers and Farmers, to 5000 B.C.E.

Chapter 1: Out of the Ice: Peopling the Earth

SO YOU THINK YOU'RE HUMAN?

Human Evolution

OUT OF AFRICA

Peopling the Old World

Migration, Population, and Social Change

THE LAST GREAT ICE AGE

Ice-Age Hunters

Ice-Age Art

Ice-Age Culture and Society

Peopling the New World

SURVIVAL OF THE FORAGERS

IN PERSPECTIVE: After the Ice

Chapter 2: Out of the Mud: Farming and Herding after the Ice Age

THE PROBLEM OF AGRICULTURE

A Case in Point: Aboriginal Australians

Preagricultural Settlements

The Disadvantages of Farming

HUSBANDRY IN DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS

Herders' Environments

Tillers' Environments

THE SPREAD OF AGRICULTURE

Europe

Asia

The Americas

Africa

The Pacific Islands

SO WHY DID FARMING START?

Population Pressure

The Outcome of Abundance

The Power of Politics

Cult Agriculture

Climatic Instability

Agriculture by Accident

Production As an Outgrowth of Procurement

A Conservative Revolution?

IN PERSPECTIVE: Seeking Stability

PART 1: THE BIG PICTURE THE WORLD IN 5000 B.C.E.

Part 2: Farmers and Builders, 5000 to 500 B.C.E.

Chapter 3: The Great River Valleys: Accelerating Change and Developing States

GROWING COMMUNITIES, DIVERGENT CULTURES

Intensified Settlement and Its Effects

THE ECOLOGY OF CIVILIZATION

THE GREAT FLOODPLAINS

The Ecology of Egypt

Shifting Rivers of the Indus Valley

Fierce Nature in Early Mesopotamia

The Good Earth of Early China

CONFIGURATIONS OF SOCIETY

Patterns of Settlement and Labor

Politics

The Egyptian State

Statecraft in Mesopotamia

The First Documented Chinese State

Ruling the Harappan World

The Politics of Expansion

Literate Culture

IN PERSPECTIVE: What Made the Great River Valleys Different?

Chapter 4: A Succession of Civilizations: Ambition and Instability

THE GROWTH OF TRADE

The Rise of the Hittites

Fragility and Fall: The End of Hatti

INSTABILITY AND COLLAPSE IN THE AEGEAN

Cretan Civilization

Mycenean Civilization

A GENERAL CRISIS IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN WORLD?

The Egyptian Experience

The Roots of Instability

THE EXTINCTION OF HARAPPAN CIVILIZATION

The Evidence of the Rig Veda

The Environment of Stress...