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The Past in Perspective


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Table of Contents

1. Encountering the Past2. Probing the Past3. African Roots4. The Human Lineage5. The First Humans: The Evolution of Homo sapiens6. Expanding Intellectual Horizons: Arts and Ideas in the Upper Paleolithic and Late Stone Age7. Expanding Geographic Horizons: New Worlds8. After the Ice: The Food-Producing Revolution9. Roots of Complexity: The Origins of Civilization10. An Explosion of Complexity: Mesopotamia, Africa, and Europe11. An Explosion of Complexity: The Indus Valley and China12. An Explosion of Complexity: Mesoamerica13. An Explosion of Complexity: South America14. An Explosion of Complexity: North America

About the Author

Kenneth L. Feder is Professor of Anthropology at Central Connecticut State University. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology (2010); Linking to the Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology, Second Edition (OUP, 2007); and Human Antiquity: An Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology (2006).


The approach of The Past in Perspective is extremely effective for introductory courses. The author stays neatly on topic, providing concise, well-written overviews of the most crucial information and issues, and giving crisp summations of recent discoveries and current debates. Feder's approach to paleoanthropology and archaeological knowledge is the most effective I have seen for introducing students to the deep history of human origins. Mark A. Rees, University of Louisiana-Lafayette I really like the 'Issues and Debates' feature. It demonstrates that archaeology is not a magical science that has every answer to the questions of antiquity and allows students to see that science proceeds in fits and starts, with a lot of debate about the interpretation of archaeological materials. It also allows for students to bring their own ideas to the issues at hand. Dean H. Wheeler, Glendale Community College I find Feder's writing style one of the most engaging and student-friendly of any current, comparable text on the market. More importantly, so do my students. Every semester I ask students to evaluate the text, and over the years they have voted overwhelmingly in favor of retaining the book, because of their favorable response to his writing style. Jim G. Shaffer, Case Western Reserve University

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