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216 × 138 mm
248 pages
65 illustrations, 44 in colour
24 Jun 2017
Lost Civilizations

The Barbarians Lost Civilizations Peter Bogucki

The civilizations of Greece and Rome that flourished in Mediterranean Europe did not develop in isolation. To their north, non-literate peoples inhabited river valleys, mountains, plains and coasts from the Atlantic to the Urals. Their story, known almost exclusively through archaeological finds of settlements, offerings, monuments and burials, is as compelling as that of the great literate, urban civilizations. Moreover, the prehistoric past of Europe echoes into the modern era through new discoveries, celebrations of the past, tourist attractions and even politics.

Beginning in the Stone Age and continuing through the collapse of the Roman empire in the west, The Barbarians describes the increasing complexity, technological accomplishments and distinctive practices of peoples who entered recorded history very late and then mainly through second-hand accounts. Peter Bogucki highlights important discoveries and situates them in a narrative of long-term continuous development and modern understanding of the nature of ancient societies, as well as considering the rich and varied legacy left to us today.

Winner of the Society for American Archaeology Popular Book Prize 2018

‘Peter Bogucki offers a concise and clearly written summary of the archaeology of “prehistoric” Europe in his book titled The Barbarians: Lost Civilizations. The focus on lessacknowledged European groups and their numerous complex lifeways serves as a counterpoint to the well-known ancient Greeks and Romans. The introduction in the book is particularly valuable for educating popular readers on the techniques of archaeology and it offers a brief account of its history in Europe . . . The color photographs in the book were selected with great care and their quality is exceptional. This engaging book comes highly recommended for those who want to learn more about the ancestors of present-day Europeans.‘ – Society for American Archaeology

‘The Vandals did vandalise Rome, but were the barbarians truly barbarous? This is the question asked by Peter Bogucki in his new book The Barbarians, a thought-provoking, highly readable addition to Reaktion’s always interesting Lost Civilizations series.’ – Minerva

‘The volume considers prehistoric societies across the longue durée, charting social and technological changes from after the last Ice Age up to the immediate post-Roman period. As a book aimed at a general readership, the author provides some overviews of useful themes for the novice that are vital in the interpretation of archaeological evidence for pre-literate societies.’ – Antiquity

‘Bogucki takes us on a travel tour of Europe, offering a series of wonderfully written vignettes about sites and situations of the prehistoric past. The Barbarians is an ideal way for students and lay readers alike to enter into the past with ease.’ – Ian W. Brown, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Alabama

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Peter Bogucki serves as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University. He is the author of The Origins of Human Society (1999) and co-editor of Ancient Europe: An Encyclopedia of the Barbarian World (2003).