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Capsule Review

Europe Before Rome: A Site-by-Site Tour of the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages

In This Review

Europe before Rome: A Site-by-Site Tour of the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages
Europe before Rome: A Site-by-Site Tour of the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages
By T. Douglas Price
Oxford University Press, USA, 2013 432 pp. $45.00 Purchase

In recent decades, archaeologists, geneticists, and other scholars have revolutionized the study of prehistoric Europe. They have uncovered stone tools and gnawed bones that humanoid creatures left behind more than a million years ago. They have shown how a quarter of a million years ago, Neanderthals controlled fire, cared for their elderly and sick, and buried their dead in the expectation of an afterlife. Most striking is new information about a number of advanced Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations, not just in the Mediterranean but throughout northern Europe, that boasted large cities, delicate art, sophisticated technology, and complex trading routes reaching all the way to China. Although most of these cultures were crushed by the Greek, Roman, and Viking empires, an extraordinary amount of archaeological and genetic evidence testifies to their creativity. Their political and cultural legacies contribute to the diversity that characterizes modern Europe. In this engaging and lavishly illustrated volume, Price powerfully links these new findings to specific locations; readers who visit almost any European country will want to add a prehistoric site to their itinerary.

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