Exploring prehistoric Europe

Christopher Scarre

Book - 1998

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Places in time
New York : Oxford University Press 1998.
Physical Description
xii, 228 p. : ill
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
Christopher Scarre (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

The first offering in a new series dubbed Places in Time focuses on European archeological sites. Scarre brings a keen expertise, acute vision, and evocative writing style to an extensive presentation of 15 prehistoric locales, ranging from France's Terra Amata to Borremose, a peat bog found on Denmark's mainland peninsula. Scarre's introductory narrative sets the scene by providing connecting links between the settlements and monuments highlighted in subsequent chapters, while colorful photographs and informative maps aid in charting a vast chronology across time periods. Adventurous tourists may wish to take advantage of the book's fascinating background facts to help plan trips, while armchair travelers will enjoy exciting images and ideas certain to inspire daydreams or stimulate expeditions of a more contemplative nature. ((Reviewed November 15, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

This volume launches a new series that will describe archaeological sites worldwide in a regional context. The book is organized by site, each chosen for its accessibility to the public, the significance of its remains, geographical location, and the archaeological period and type. The text gives up-to-date descriptions of each site's location, layout, excavations, remains, interpretation, and importance. Scarre (Ancient Civilizations, Addison-Wesley, 1997) uses sidebars to explain concepts (such as radiocarbon dating) and provide context essential to understanding the sites. Numerous photographs, maps, and drawings supplement the text, while suggested readings and the museum locations of artifacts are appended to each chapter. Although reading the book from cover to cover doesn't truly provide a complete picture of prehistoric Europe, Scarre's approach (a "grand tour") is successful in presenting a solid introduction to each site and different periods of prehistory. Recommended for general readers of archaeology. Joyce L. Ogburn, Old Dominion Univ., Norfolk, VA Copyright 1999 Library Journal Reviews

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The first volume in a profusely illustrated series of guides introduces readers to fifteen of the most famous, most significant accessible archaeological sites in Europe, describing the history and excavation of each site with the aid of full-color photographs. UP.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Explores over fifteen prehistoric sites in France, Portugal, Brittany, England, Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Germany

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Part travel guide, part survey of Europe's prehistory, Exploring Prehistoric Europe delves into fifteen of the most famous, most important, and most exciting archaeological sites in Europe. The first volume in the Places in Time series, this beautiful book takes us to locales both famous and obscure, from Ireland to Poland to Malta, ranging chronologically from Terra Amata, a site in southern France occupied some 380,000 years ago, to Borremose, a Danish settlement that dates toRoman times. The author, archaeologist Chris Scarre, examines the haunting cave paintings of Lascaux, France; the stone circle and ritual complexes of Avebury, England; and the ever mysterious Stonehenge--as well as lesser known but no less intriguing sites around Europe. For each location, heconducts a careful tour of the existing remains, describes the history of its excavation, and then interprets how the site might have been built, used, or occupied. Readers will explore a variety of cultures and monuments, from megalithic stone circles to Neolithic villages to Bronze Age tombs, andsee intimate portraits of the daily life of Europe's prehistoric ancestors. Perhaps equally important, Scarre has selected the sites with accessibility in mind--all can be easily reached by the modern tourist--and he also highlights local museums and visitor centers where further artifacts andinformation can be found. Beautifully illustrated with maps and full-color photographs, Exploring Prehistoric Europe makes the perfect companion for the historically minded traveler--or the reader who wants to curl up at home and wander at leisure through the distant past.