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In this worldwide survey, Clive Gamble explores the evolution of the human imagination, without which we would not have become a global species. He sets out to determine the cognitive and social basis for our imaginative capacity and traces the evidence back into deep human history. He argues that it was the imaginative ability to “go beyond” and to create societies where people lived apart yet stayed in touch that made us such effective world settlers. To make his case Gamble brings together information from a wide range of disciplines: psychology, cognitive science, archaeology, palaeoanthropology, archaeogenetics, geography, quaternary science and anthropology. He presents a novel deep history that combines the archaeological evidence for fossil hominins with the selective forces of Pleistocene climate change, engages with the archaeogeneticists' models for population dispersal and displacement, and ends with the Europeans' rediscovery of the deep history settlement of the earth.Read more
- Presents a deep history that finds a place for our distant past in contemporary shallow histories
- Sets out a new geographical framework for the organization and study of human evolution
- Peoples this framework with ancestors who are cognitively sophisticated and increasingly imaginatively aware
Reviews & endorsements
"In Settling the Earth, Clive Gamble reconfirms his status as the finest mind working in Palaeolithic studies. He presents a radical reimagining of the global sweep of human history by rejecting the progress-bound divisions of previous summaries in favor of a partitioning based on brain expansion and population dispersal. The result is brilliant.'
Thomas Wynn, University of Colorado, Colorado SpringsSee more reviews
"Eclectic and authoritative, Gamble’s engaging new book provides a fresh take on the evolution of the human brain, navigating the reader through the changing landscapes, minds and societies of our ancestors and revealing the complex physical and cultural dynamics behind our ultimate colonization of the Earth."
Danielle Schreve, Royal Holloway University of London
"… we desperately need books like Settling the Earth and we need researchers like Clive Gamble who can write about the deep human past in a way that integrates archaeological evidence and interpretation so elegantly and with so much enthusiasm. This is a massive contribution to the understanding of the human past. It is impossible to properly assess it in a few words. It is a bold attempt to understand the structures of 10 million years of global human history … it is a book that provides a dazzling wealth of ideas, hypotheses and explanations, which are not presented as solid facts but rather are intended to be tested, revised and reformulated. It is unquestionable that this book is a milestone on our journey to improve our understanding of the human past and present."
Martin Porr, Antiquity
"… an excellent, well-written and deeply erudite book …"
Peter Bellwood, Journal of Anthropological Research
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- Date Published: December 2013
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107601079
- length: 396 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 152 x 23 mm
- weight: 0.68kg
- contains: 35 b/w illus. 32 maps 57 tables
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. The worlds of deep human history
2. The drivers of climate and environment
3. The recent veneers of climate, environment, and population
4. Walking and running down the tectonic trail
5. Three strides across a bio-tidal world
6. Going beyond, keeping in touch
7. The call of the north
8. Eyes on the horizon
9. The human re-union in retrospect.
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