Readership: All those interested in the history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, ancient archaeology, the birth of human civilization, and the relationship between Europe and the Middle East over the centuries
David Wengrow, Reader in Comparative Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, University College London
Dr. David Wengrow is Reader in Comparative Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He trained in archaeology and anthropology at the University of Oxford, and has conducted fieldwork in both Africa and the Middle East. His research explores early cultural transformations across the boundaries of Asia, Africa, and Europe, including the emergence of the first farming societies, states, and systems of writing. He has also written on the history of archaeological thought and
the role of the remote past in shaping modern political identities. His past appointments include Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford, and Frankfort Fellow in Near Eastern Art and Archaeology at the Warburg Institute, London.
"Convincingly concludes that the parallel development of Mesopotamia and Egypt demonstrates the deep attachment of human societies to the concepts they live by, and the inequalities they are prepared to endure in order to preserve those guiding principles." - Nature
"What Makes Civilization? is well written for a student or educated lay-person audience...when the past is being employed to understand the present or predict the future of human societies, archaeologists must be part of the discussion." - Current Anthropology
"This book promises a lot and delivers even more...It guides readers into the heart
of the sources of civilization." - Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
"Provocative....stimulating...occasionally infuriating." - Steven Snape, History Today
"A book that readers will certainly find stimulating." - History Today
"Lively and insightful work." - Geoff Ward, Western Daily Press
Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: a clash of civilizations?
Part One: The Cauldron of Civilization
1: Camouflaged Borrowings
2: On the Trail of Blue-Haired Gods
3: Neolithic Worlds
4: The (First) Global Village
5: Origin of Cities
6: From the Ganges to the Danube: the Bronze Age
7: Cosmology and Commerce
8: The Labours of Kingship
Part Two: Forgetting the Old Regime
9: Enlightenment from a Dark Source
10: Ruined Regimes: Egypt at the Revolution
Conclusion: what makes civilization?
'What Makes Civilization?' - Read about this title on the OUPblog.