Social organization Theorizing about these matters can make
cautious use of ethnographic parallels pre industrial cultures of the recent past The spread of ideas from neighboring use of ethnographic parallels pre industrial cultures of the recent past The spread of ideas from neighboring even distant cultures diffusion is not ruled out but can no longer be invoked as a convenient explanation for every advance especially in the absence of any material evidence And even when diffusion might have occurred one is still left with the uestion of why an innovation was adopted neolithic cultures are conservative Nor is a change in the mix of artifacts in a stratum automatically taken as evidence of migrationAnyone looking to uickly get up to speed on the current state of research into prehistoric Europe can bypass this book Someone like me who enjoys watching changes in scientific thought take place might however find it worthwhile reading Keeping in mind that the ideal reader was a student of the field that is neither an expert nor a layperson I found the writing clear and the presentation of ideas easy to follo. Eties The glaring inconsistencies in the old theory are re examined and Professor Renfrew shows convincingly how baffling monuments of
Europe like Stonehenge could have been built without recourse to help from the ' civilized' Near East. The radiocarbon stuff was OK But I m just glad I to read this at
prehistoric like Stonehenge could have been built without recourse to help from the ' civilized' Near East.
work where I don t have the temptation or opportunity to sleep ideal reader where I have the temptation or opportunity to sleep The ideal reader this book would have been an undergraduate about to embark on graduate study in archaeology 45 years ago But the reader today will still find a fascinating record of a moment when the study of prehistoric Europe moved away from a model that had dominated the field in the first half of the twentieth century Renfrew repeatedly cites V Gordon Childe s Dawn of European Civilization as the classic statement of the moderate diffusionist model That model held that all technological innovation originated in Egypt and the Middle East and spread from there either through migration or at the very least by diffusionThis model began to wobble with the advent of radiocarbon dating When radiocarbon dates were supplemented by dendrochronology analysis of tree rings dates of artifacts and monuments throughout Europe turned out to be much older than previously assu. The refinement of radiocarbon dating using the information form tree ring counts has raised serious doubts about the accepted theoretical frameowkr of European prehistory Monuments in Central and Western Europe have proved to be considerably older than. ,
READ Before Civilization The Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe,
Med Renfrew s book
appeared at a time when this revolution in dating had come about but when the uestion ofat a time when this revolution in dating had come about but when the uestion of new model might take the place of the
diffusion model was still openThat s why a student in the 1970s would have found this book amodel was still openThat s why a student in the 1970s would have found this book a leg up not only in exam preparation but importantly in being exposed to possible topics for his or her own graduate research Any new model would continue to start with the remains in the field and here Renfrew certifies Childe s continued value as a paragon of comprehensive nowledge of the sites and a careful documenter of their strata Researchers coming along could aspire to emulate such careful excavation in fact through the use of improved methods do an even better job One danger Renfrew hopes they will avoid however is to simply collect and sort artifacts as if data will somehow yield a coherent pictureInstead Renfrew sees the future of the study of prehistory drawing on studies of population density and growth of pre market exchange of goods and of. Their supposed Near Eastern forerunners and the record must be almost completely rewritten in the light of these new dates Before Civilsation is a preliminary attempt to do this with the help of analogies from recent and well documented primitive soci.