Skip to content
Cart

Your Cart

×

You have 0 items in your cart.

Register Sign in Wishlist

Understanding Collapse
Ancient History and Modern Myths

$37.99 (P)

  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316606070

$ 37.99 (P)
Paperback

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook


Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact collegesales@cambridge.org providing details of the course you are teaching.

Description
Product filter button
Description
Contents
Resources
Courses
About the Authors
  • Understanding Collapse explores the collapse of ancient civilisations, such as the Roman Empire, the Maya, and Easter Island. In this lively survey, Guy D. Middleton critically examines our ideas about collapse - how we explain it and how we have constructed potentially misleading myths around collapses - showing how and why collapse of societies was a much more complex phenomenon than is often admitted. Rather than positing a single explanatory model of collapse - economic, social, or environmental - Middleton gives full consideration to the overlooked resilience in communities of ancient peoples and the choices that they made. He offers a fresh interpretation of collapse that will be accessible to both students and scholars. The book is an engaging, introductory-level survey of collapse in the archaeology/history literature, which will be ideal for use in courses on the collapse of civilizations, sustainability, and climate change. It includes up-to-date case studies of famous and less well-known examples of collapses, and is illustrated with 25 black and white illustrations, 3 line drawings, 16 tables and 18 maps.

    • Updates Tainter's 1990 book by including the latest data and theory of collapse
    • Written in jargon-free language accessible to students and assumes little prior knowledge of ancient history
    • Includes lively case studies that show how collapse has played out across the world from prehistory to the present, including modern examples
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Middleton’s book is the best introduction to 'collapsology'. It carefully dissects theories, especially grand theories, and marshals data so that the reader can see what collapses (and what doesn’t) in major cases from Rome and Egypt to the Maya and Easter Island. It is informative from beginning to end and gracefully written.' Norman Yoffee, University of Michigan

    'Moving well beyond the traditional rise-and-fall schemas of civilizational studies, Guy D. Middleton asks us to consider the complexities of human approaches to political sustainability across space and time. By doing so, he creates a deeper understanding of the variability in human agency and political decision-making. Along the way, he exposes myth-making both in the past and the present. This engaging, accessible, and comprehensively researched book offers no monolithic explanation for past crises of governance but astutely assesses human socio-ecological interactions in a wide range of archaic states and empires. This book is an essential read for every aspiring student of past (and current) political collapse.' Patricia A. McAnany, Kenan Eminent Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    'Middleton aims to provide an introduction to ‘collapsology’, offering a wide-ranging and impressively comprehensive overview of previous scholarship, written in an accessible and succinct way that will be appealing for undergraduate or graduate courses on the collapse of complex societies, or for scholars seeking overviews of regions in which they do not specialize.' Cambridge Archaeological Journal

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity

    ×

    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?

    ×

    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316606070
    • length: 462 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 28 b/w illus. 18 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    Acknowledgments
    Preface
    1. Introducing collapse
    2. Egypt: the old kingdom falls
    3. Akkad: the end of the world's first empire
    4. The Indus Valley: a truly lost civilisation?
    5. The end of Minoan Crete
    6. The kingdoms of Mycenaean Greece
    7. The Hittites and the Eastern Mediterranean
    8. The fall of the Western Roman Empire
    9. Collapse and revolution in Mesoamerica
    10. The classic Maya collapse
    11. Collapse in the Andes
    12. Angkor and the Khmer
    13. The incredible survival of Rapa Nui
    14. Conclusions
    15. Bibliographic essay.

  • Author

    Guy D. Middleton, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
    Guy D. Middleton studied Ancient History and Archaeology at Newcastle University, where he won the Shipley Prize. For his PhD at the University of Durham he studied the collapse of Mycenaean states around 1200 BC. His works on collapse include: 'Nothing Lasts Forever: Environmental Discourses on the Collapse of Past Societies' (Journal of Archaeological Research, 2012) and The Collapse of Palatial Society in Late Bronze Age Greece and the Postpalatial Period (2010). He also has a BA in Humanities and English Language and an MEd in Applied Linguistics and has worked extensively with international students. As well as teaching at universities in the UK, he has lived and worked in Greece, Korea, and for some years at the University of Tokyo, Japan. He is now a Visiting Fellow in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account

Cancel

Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email lecturers@cambridge.org

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

×
Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.
×