Origin of Civilization

Course No. 3130
Professor Scott MacEachern, Ph.D.
Bowdoin College
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Course No. 3130
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What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Consider the initial appearance - and characteristics of - of states in human history.
  • numbers Unpack the mysteries of the so-called Palette of Narmer, which provides insight into Egypt's unification.
  • numbers Examine the development of ancient Chinese writing systems and their impact on society.
  • numbers Explore the civilizations of Mesoamerica, with a focus on the domestication of corn and the development of communities.
  • numbers Explore the Norte Chico area of Peru, including Caral's pyramids and plazas.

Course Overview

Every single day of your life is spent within a civilization—an elaborate system composed of governing bodies, detailed laws, dense urban centers, elaborate trade networks, visual and written cultures, class structures, militaries, and more.

And yet the experience of living inside a civilization has become so interwoven with our lives that it's easy to take for granted just how profound and recent the concept is. Consider that human beings have walked the earth for more than 150,000 years, but it was only 10,000 years ago that our distant ancestors began establishing and living within larger and more complex communities.

Our world is forever indebted to a host of early states that paved the way for our current ways of life, including those of the Sumerians, the ancient Egyptians, the Chinese, and the Maya. Without the critical strides they made in areas of government, law, trade, social hierarchies, culture, and more, human civilization as we know it today would not even exist.

  • How did these first states come into being?
  • What defines a state? A civilization?
  • How were the world's ancient states similar to each other? How did they differ?

Answers to these and other dramatic questions form the core of The Origin of Civilization, a grand 48-lecture course that reveals the stories of how human beings around the world transitioned from small farming communities to the impressive cultural and political systems that would forever alter the course of history. Taking a gripping archaeological and historical approach to these formative states and civilizations, archaeologist and Professor Scott MacEachern of Bowdoin College completes your understanding of the history of human civilization—by exploring it at its earliest stages.

Unlike traditional survey courses of ancient civilizations, which tend to focus only on the glorious achievements of these cultures, The Origin of Civilization brings you those first all-important steps that the world's first civilizations would take on the long and arduous road to glory. It's only by learning about the birth of these complex societies that you'll be able to better understand—and appreciate—the lasting contributions they made to the cultural record.

A Comparative Point of View

Contrary to popular belief, state formation didn't happen in one area and then spread outward. Instead, the emergence of states and regional civilizations occurred throughout the ancient world, from the fertile valleys of the Near East and the savannahs of Africa to the Pacific coast of South America and the plains of China.

To tackle this diversity of early civilizations, Professor MacEachern's lectures incorporate perhaps the most important element of any archaeological study of diverse states and civilizations: a comparative outlook. This all-encompassing perspective—which explores ancient cultures side by side instead of in a vacuum—allows you to better grasp the different (and similar) trajectories through which the first states formed around the world.

"We simply will not be able to assemble a complete and convincing account of ancient civilizations if we don't understand how they developed through time in different environments and circumstances," notes Professor MacEachern. "We must have that comparative point of view."

What caused these new forms of cultural and political complexity to emerge in certain places and not others? How are the processes of state formation the same? How are they different? It is only with the comparative approach of The Origin of Civilization that you can truly begin to answer these and other profound questions about this transformative era in human history.

Explore Fascinating Regions ...

After a series of introductory lectures that draw you into the world of archaeologists and the issues and challenges of their field, you embark on a globe-trotting, time-traveling adventure in which you investigate the earliest examples of state formation. Here is where you plunge into the heart of this captivating new course.

You approach the growth and development of civilization in each fascinating region from a multitude of political, social, cultural, and spiritual perspectives. Covering the most vital regions in the earliest development of human societies, The Origin of Civilization takes you to places such as

  • Mesopotamia, where you explore the ways that agriculture laid the foundation for groundbreaking experiments in social and political development throughout the Near East in places like Uruk and Sumer;
  • the eastern Mediterranean, where you discover how expanding maritime trade during the Bronze Age increasingly knit the different societies of these islands into an integrated web of political, ideological, and economic relationships;
  • Asia, where you survey the evolution of China from early farming communities to literate states and dynasties and explore the ancient states of Southeast Asia, which developed distinct ideologies from competing Chinese and Indian influences;
  • Sub-Saharan Africa, where you join Professor MacEachern on a journey through the early communities and states of the Inland Niger Delta, the Lake Chad Basin, and the Zimbabwe Plateau—areas essential to the story of human civilization; and
  • Mesoamerica, where you comb through the indigenous states in and around what are now Mexico, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and witness the full flowering of Olmec and Maya civilization.

In these and other cases, your explorations bring you up close and personal with a host of intriguing topics central to the study of the world's earliest states. These include issues of territoriality, cycles of rise and collapse, the development of writing systems, questions of archaeological interpretation, and much more.

... and Intriguing Archaeological Sites

With its rich and detailed archaeological approach, The Origin of Civilization also offers you an engaging look at what archaeologists have learned from some of the world's oldest and most intriguing sites. You'll see how these locations provide us with intimate windows into how ancient states developed and how everyday men and women lived within them.

Among the familiar—and perhaps unfamiliar—sites you explore alongside Professor MacEachern and some of history's most important archaeologists are these:

  • The pyramids at Giza, the most striking physical manifestations of the power that ruling pharaohs held over dynastic Egypt
  • Eridu, a settlement near the mouth of the Persian Gulf whose temples and housing reflect the presence of social hierarchy and power
  • Knossos, whose grand palatial complexes have reshaped our understanding of political relationships between different ancient communities on the island of Crete
  • Erlitou, a 900-acre site that was China's first true urban center and closely associated with the region's semilegendary Xia dynasty
  • Great Zimbabwe, the only archaeological site in the world to have a country named after it, and one that helps explain the origins of territorial states in southern Africa
  • Teotihuacán, whose planned avenues and ceremonial centers imply a powerful central governing structure at the heart of this Mesoamerican capital

An Unforgettable Story, an Unforgettable Course

With more than 20 years spent as an archaeologist investigating sites in Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Canada, and the United States, Professor MacEachern is the perfect guide for this thrilling exploration of what archaeology reveals about the world's first civilizations. His lectures, always rich with archaeological detail, will leave you awestruck at the diverse ways that ancient people crafted and supported complex systems; systems whose broad strokes remain with us even today.

And now you can finally grasp the full scope of this important subject in The Origin of Civilization, your in-depth look at the grand story of how humans laid the foundations for who we are today in the world. It's an unforgettable story that involves looking at the past through a broad lens, rescuing from near-oblivion the physical remnants of early human history, and rediscovering stories and cultures you only thought you knew.

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48 lectures
 |  Average 30 minutes each
  • 1
    Ancient States and Civilizations
    In this introductory lecture, Professor MacEachern lays the groundwork for your detailed exploration of ways and reasons that politically and socially complex civilizations emerged almost 5,000 years ago. x
  • 2
    The History of Archaeological Research
    Discover why archaeology is the best field with which to examine the epic nature of the history of civilizations. As you glean the brief history of archaeology, you learn how lasting archaeological work gets done through the combination of original minds and detailed knowledge about prehistory. x
  • 3
    Studying the Origins of States
    Investigate how modern archaeologists are restoring balance to their field by studying what ancient relics reveal about the lives of common people, not just the elite. Also, Professor MacEachern demonstrates how archaeologists work in the field with a recounting of his ongoing fieldwork in Cameroon. x
  • 4
    Archaeological Interpretation—Çatalhöyük
    Turn your attention from issues of archaeological interpretation to a concrete example of some of the challenges archaeologists face in their work, illustrated by Çatalhöyük in modern Turkey. This Neolithic agricultural site, dating back to 7400 B.C., illustrates how families lived in a settlement with little communal activity. x
  • 5
    Stepping Stones to Civilization
    Explore the four stages of political and social organization developed by American anthropologists in the 1960s and 1970s: the band, the tribe, the chiefdom, and the state. Also, explore some of the complexities behind identifying these stages with a look at the precolonial state of Wandala in central Africa. x
  • 6
    Trajectories of Cultural Development
    Examine the details of some evolutionary schemes of cultural development that were popular and influential in the 19th and 20th centuries. While they may not explain the growth of states and civilizations everywhere, these schemes are nevertheless extremely productive ways to think about issues of civilization. x
  • 7
    When Is a State a State?
    In this lecture, consider the debates in archaeology about how and when we can detect the initial appearance of states in the archaeological record—and what their characteristics may be. Also, debunk some common myths about what the archetypal ancient state looked like. x
  • 8
    A Complex Neolithic—Halafian and Samarran
    Focus now on what specific archaeological cases reveal about the origin of human civilizations. Start with this look at three farming communities that flourished in Mesopotamia between 6250 and 5000 B.C.: the Hassunan, Halafian, and Samarran traditions. x
  • 9
    Hierarchy and Urbanism—'Ubaid Mesopotamia
    Turn south and explore the 'Ubaid tradition of southern Mesopotamia, with a focus on the 'Ubaid peoples' rapid development into a classic settlement hierarchy. What brought this about? Was it simply a population increase? Did it require increased levels of production and an expanding labor force? Find out possible answers here. x
  • 10
    The Uruk World System
    Study the era that succeeds the 'Ubaid period in Mesopotamia, called the Uruk period. Dating from about 4000 to 3000 B.C., these transformative centuries led to irrigation canal systems, long-distance trade, larger walled communities, complex recording systems, and the separation of rural and urban life. x
  • 11
    Sumer and Afterward
    The Early Dynastic period, which spanned from roughly 2900 to 2400 B.C., is best associated with the Sumerians. Here, explore Sumerian city-states and their role in the emergence of secular rule, increased militarization and fortifications, hyperurbanism (the massive influx of people from rural areas to cities), and much more. x
  • 12
    Civilization and Pastoralism in Mesopotamia
    Investigate the pastoralist, nomadic population of the Amorites, who roamed the boundaries of Mesopotamian city-states. Although difficult to study from an archaeological view, societies like theirs were nevertheless important in shaping cultural and political developments throughout much of the Old World. x
  • 13
    The Development of Writing in Mesopotamia
    The invention of writing; it's the most epochal moment in the history of civilization and made possible economic, social, and political systems that had before seemed unimaginable. So how did writing begin? Did it evolve from more ancient recording systems? Or was it a unique invention with no real precursor? x
  • 14
    The Gift of the Nile
    Begin your look at the development of classical Egyptian civilization with this focus on the dramatic importance of the Nile River in supporting small farming communities. These communities would set the stage for the Predynastic period that would emerge between 4000 and 3000 B.C. x
  • 15
    The Egyptian Predynastic Period
    Venture into the heart of the Predynastic Egyptian world, a period of quite radical change for Nile Valley societies. It was this era that saw steadily increasing population densities, larger settlements along the Nile, the rise of copper as a prestigious material, and political competition among the expanding chiefdoms. x
  • 16
    The Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt
    Unpack the mysteries of the so-called Palette of Narmer, a carved stone tablet that has provided archaeologists with insight into the unification of the upper and lower kingdoms of ancient Egypt. This momentous event, which occurred around 3100 B.C., resulted in the creation of an Egyptian territorial state. x
  • 17
    Divinity and Display in Dynastic Egypt
    The center of dynastic Egypt was undoubtedly the pharaoh. Learn how the unification of Egypt gave rise to an ideology of rule that linked the social and spiritual health of the Nile valley and its inhabitants with these fascinating rulers. x
  • 18
    Why So Different? Mesopotamia and the Nile
    One of the characteristics of archaeology as a science is its comparative approach. With this in mind, delve into the differences between the simultaneous growth of Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilization, and discover the factors behind the development of civilizations that often led to totally dissimilar results. x
  • 19
    Borders and Territories of Ancient States
    Rethink your assumptions on how ancient states functioned and controlled their territories. Unlike our conception of modern states (with neat borders and clearly defined territories), the earliest states were often composed of concentric "zones" of influence centered on their capitals. x
  • 20
    The Levantine Copper and Early Bronze Ages
    Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia are not the only ways to think about the origins of civilization. Case in point: the Levant (now the area in and around Israel). Learn about the agricultural practices of the Ghassulian communities, how the Bronze Age began to sweep the region in 3500 B.C., and more. x
  • 21
    Hierarchy and Society in the Aegean
    Expand your sense of ancient states with the first in a series of lectures on those that sprouted on islands along the eastern Mediterranean. Also, focus on what the ruins of administrative centers and tombs reveal about increases in social hierarchy and political centralization in this region. x
  • 22
    Early Minoan and Mycenaean Civilizations
    Examine the remarkable development of both Mycenaean civilization and the political and cultural life that flourished on Crete between 2100 and 1450 B.C.—a time known as the Palatial period. Then, look closer at three different writing systems from this era: Cretan hieroglyphics, Linear A script, and symbols written on the mysterious Phaistos Disc. x
  • 23
    Palace and Countryside on Crete
    Elaborate palaces were the most striking archaeological features of Minoan civilization. Here, learn about the various roles these palaces played—as administrative, religious, and storage centers—and how excavations at palaces like Knossos help illuminate our understanding of life in the ancient eastern Mediterranean. x
  • 24
    How Things Fall Apart—The Greek Dark Ages
    Around 1500 B.C., a wave of destruction swept through the palace system of Crete and resulted in a takeover by overlords from mainland Greece. What was responsible for the fall of Minoan and Mycenaean civilization? Was it the result of foreign invasion? Natural disasters? Or something else entirely? x
  • 25
    First Farmers in the Indus Valley
    Move away from the Near East and over to the Indus Valley, the region that is now modern India and Pakistan. This lecture is your introduction to the Harappan civilization, a sophisticated but unfamiliar urban culture as important to the development of human civilizations as the ancient Egyptians and Minoans. x
  • 26
    Cities along the Indus
    Harappa. Mohenjo-daro. Dholavira. Discover how the ruins of these and other sites reveal intriguing aspects of life during the mature period of civilization in the Indus Valley, including its preoccupation with water management, its lack of great social and economic differences, and its complex symbolic script. x
  • 27
    Seeing What We Expect—Power and Display
    Harappan civilization—which occupied a region almost three times the size of Mesopotamia—consisted of a diversity of urban centers; so many that it was impossible to be ruled as a single territorial state. So how were these cities, towns, and settlements ruled? Investigate possible answers to this important question. x
  • 28
    Sedentism and Agriculture in Early China
    Shift your attention further east and explore the development of cities and states in central China. Start with a look at the initial development of agriculture in a succession of two farming cultures: the Yangshao (which primarily grew foxtail millet) and the Longshan (which primarily grew rice). x
  • 29
    State Formation in Ancient China
    Chart the evolution of ancient Chinese states from the end of the Longshan culture to the semilegendary Xia dynasty to the well-known Shang dynasty. In each case, the details about these periods are revealed through findings at archaeological sites, including a massive urban center, a capital city, and a burial complex. x
  • 30
    Origins of the Chinese Writing System
    Focus here on the development of Chinese writing systems; specifically, ancient characters written on oracle bones excavated from the last capital of the Shang dynasty. Information provided by these inscriptions has given archaeologists invaluable clues into the structure of the Shang court, the nature of its divination rituals, and more. x
  • 31
    From Human Sacrifice to the Tao of Politics
    In the mid-11th century B.C., the Shang dynasty was overcome by the Zhou dynasty, which would thrive for almost 800 years. Using both the historical record and archaeological resources, examine how this transition took place and learn how the Zhou period continued the development of ancient Chinese civilization. x
  • 32
    Spread of States in Mainland Southeast Asia
    How do states develop in areas where they're subject to contact with existing states? What balance, if any, can we see between indigenous cultural dynamics and external influences? Find out in this lecture on Vietnam, Cambodia, and other areas of Southeast Asia where state formation fused Chinese and Indian culture and ideology. x
  • 33
    Axumite Civilization in Ethiopia
    Professor MacEachern takes you to the Ethiopian plateau in the first of four lectures highlighting state formation in ancient Africa—a subject often ignored in surveys of the origins of civilizations. Here, focus on the development of the Axumite state: its extensive trade networks, its effective use of coinage, and more. x
  • 34
    Inland Niger Delta—Hierarchy and Heterarchy
    The Inland Niger Delta (part of Mali in West Africa) is an extraordinary area in the development of agriculture, trade, and more. Find out why with this look at important Inland Niger Delta sites such as Jenné-jeno—an important urban center that housed more than 25,000 people at its height. x
  • 35
    Lake Chad Basin—Settlement and Complexity
    Professor MacEachern guides you through the ruins of settlements in the Lake Chad Basin—the region of Africa where he does most of his research. Recent work in the area, you discover, has revealed that the population densities and sociocultural systems here were much more complex than archaeologists once thought. x
  • 36
    Great Zimbabwe and Its Successors
    Few archaeological sites have been subjected to the degree of abuse and misrepresentation sustained by Great Zimbabwe in southeastern Africa. Nevertheless, this lecture unpacks the intriguing history of this urban center and the insights it can provide into the development of the elite. x
  • 37
    Sedentism and Agriculture in Mesoamerica
    Travel now to the New World and explore the rise of civilizations in Mesoamerica and South America. Here, focus on the domestication of corn, the great cereal crop of the New World, and the sedentary farming communities that arose in late 3rd-millennium B.C. Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. x
  • 38
    The Olmec of Lowland Mexico
    Found along the Gulf Coast of Mexico between about 1300 and 300 B.C., the Olmecs were the most spectacular manifestation of social hierarchy in early Mesoamerica. Investigate the sophistication and inventiveness of this civilization through its ideologies, its ceremonies, and its architecture (including the famed colossal Olmec heads). x
  • 39
    Teotihuacán—The First American City
    At its height, between A.D. 150 and 400, Teotihuacán was one of the largest cities in the world. Walk the streets of this great Mesoamerican city, explore the tombs and pyramids lining the Avenue of the Dead, and uncover the reasons why this city rose—and why it eventually fell. x
  • 40
    Beginnings of States in Lowland Mesoamerica
    A counterpoint to contemporary Teotihuacán is the development of states and civilization among Maya populations in what is now modern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Learn what three spectacular archaeological sites in this region reveal about early Maya farming communities. x
  • 41
    The Great Maya City-States
    Between A.D. 250 and 800, the geographical spread of Maya urbanism and political complexity reached its peak, epitomized by a series of Maya city-states. What were these diverse city-states like? Find out by exploring the history and characteristics of two unique sites: Tikal and Palenque. x
  • 42
    Epigraphy—Changing Views of the Maya
    Transformations in archaeological views of the Maya over the last few decades are the result of advancements in understanding Maya script. This lecture focuses on the development of Maya writing systems and how inscriptions on stone monuments have clarified our understanding of this civilization's political history. x
  • 43
    Was There a Maya Collapse?
    The Maya collapse, which occurred at the start of the 8th century A.D., is often conceived of as an event equivalent to the fall of ancient Rome. Here, delve into the possible causes of this decline, which signaled the end of this particular form of Mesoamerican urbanism. x
  • 44
    Adaptations in Pacific South America
    Move now to the last great cultural region in this course: the Pacific coast of South America. In this lecture, discover the role played by different resources—including fish, shellfish, cotton, and corn—in establishing various kinds of economies in ancient regions around Peru and Chile. x
  • 45
    Pyramids and Precocity in Coastal Peru
    Travel through the Norte Chico area of Peru and investigate some of its ritual and settlement sites. Your particular focus is Caral—an amazing 160-acre site whose pyramids, mounds, and residential plazas reflect larger cultural trends that flourished in 3rd millennium B.C. Peru. x
  • 46
    Andean Civilization—Chav'n to Chimú
    The late 2nd and 1st millennia B.C. were a period of astounding economic and cultural change along the Pacific coast of Peru. Professor MacEachern examines the iconography and artwork found at Chav'n de Huántar, then guides you through a series of states, including Tiwanaku, Wari, and Chimú. x
  • 47
    The Florescence of the Inka Empire
    The Inka Empire was the culmination of state development in Pacific South America. Survey the various political, cultural, and religious factors responsible for the rise, expansion, and fall of this famed empire. x
  • 48
    Ancient States—Unity and Diversity?
    In this final lecture, consider the many themes and insights found during this comparative approach to the origin of civilizations and states. What conclusions can archaeologists come to about the development of states throughout the world? What additional questions and issues need to be addressed? x

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Your professor

Scott MacEachern

About Your Professor

Scott MacEachern, Ph.D.
Bowdoin College
Dr. Scott MacEachern is Professor of Anthropology at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He earned his B.A. with Honours in Anthropology from the University of Prince Edward Island and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Calgary. Professor MacEachern is also an Adjunct Professor of Archaeology at the University of Calgary and has been a Visiting Researcher at UniversitÈ Laval in QuÈbec. An...
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Origin of Civilization is rated 3.4 out of 5 by 56.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Origin of Civilization I have not finished this course as yet. Disc Five in the original set was defective as were the two replacements, so I have not been able to take the portion of the course covering the Indus Valley and early China. Presumably I will eventually get a readable DVD and be able to finish the course. Having said that, the portions of the course that I was able to take was very good. I learned a lot more about early Mesopotamia and Egypt than I knew before. Further, the discussion about MesoAmerica and South America was complimentary to the GC courses presented by Professor Barnhart. I found the discussions of the civilizations of sub-Saharan Africa interesting; this is the principle area of Professor MacEachern's field work and expertise. However, after spending four sessions on cultures from Axum to Zimbabwe, I found it a bit strange that the Professor did not also include the Mississippian civilizations of North America, principally Cahokia. While not comparable to Egypt, early China or Peru, the Mississippian cultures exhibited all the same characteristics as did those in the Niger Delta, Lake Chad or Zimbabwe. A minor short coming in an otherwise good course.
Date published: 2020-08-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too Little, Too Slow Dr. MacEachern is clearly enthralled with archaeology and its foundational precepts, however he dwells on this aspect too long to hold a more casual listener's attention. I tried four lectures before finally giving up and moving to another lecture series. I no doubt missed out on many interesting aspects of ancient civilizations that came later in the series, but the ponderous pace was more than I could handle. Sorry ...
Date published: 2019-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very informative I enjoyed the lectures. They were very well done and interesting.
Date published: 2018-12-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Long and boring Long, repetitive, continuously insisting on the fact that archeologists are guilty of searching and studying more the vestiges of the "nobility" rather than the ancient traces of "common people", Scott MacEachern goes on and on for 48 lectures - which could be reduced to 12 or less more concise and interesting ones. A truly boring course.
Date published: 2018-05-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A disjointed survey of archeological sites This is a very hard course to review. I’m sure if I was looking for a survey course on significant archeological sites in the ancient world I would have been overjoyed with the course. The lecturer is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The problem is that the course is titled “Origins of Civilization” and as far as I can tell the course has little,if anything, to do with the title subject. A much better title would have been “A survey of significant archeological sites in the ancient world” The lecturer never explains why the various sites have anything to do with civilization in general. The closest he comes to this is noting that certain ecological problems may have contributed to the decline of certain South American early cultures and that we may be facing this problem today. A very oblique reference to global warming. After listening to the course I have a jumble of interesting but unrelated facts buzzing in my head about archeology , sites in Africa, Asia, South America, Greece etc. etc. but nothing to link them together or why they are significant to the rise of what we now call civilization. I now now that cereal crops and agriculture in general were not vital to all ancient cultures. I was always taught that the certainty of the food supply from agriculture was the very essence of the beginnings of civilization. The lecturer challenges this notion stating that agriculture is hard and not always a certain source of food. This is at least some food for thought. I wish the good professor would have spent more time on this idea as it challenges commonly held beliefs that hunter gatherers were necessarily less advanced . Unfortunately the lecturer just makes the observation that this or that culture did not seem to engage in agriculture as a main food source. In summary the course is disjointed , reaches no conclusions, argues no central theory and does not address the question of why these sites are significant to the origins of civilization.
Date published: 2018-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comprehensive, educational, exciting This course is replete with information on archaeology, anthropology, history, politics--all rolled into a fascinating story of human community and development. I learned more than I knew there was to learn and discovered places I now want to visit.
Date published: 2018-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating! This is the best course I have ever purchased from The Great Courses! I was fascinated by the detail provided on how archaeologists frame problems, how they work, and how they attempt to piece together a coherent story from fragments of evidence. This is a serious course, not infotainment, and the Professor "opens the box" to discuss issues, problems, and controversies in the field. It is the kind of course one might expect to find at a graduate level as an introduction for students who are thinking of becoming archaeologists. I so much prefer this thoughtful presentation to being bombarded with names and dates and pictures of temples. Sometimes the most interesting thing to learn is not what is known, but what is unknown. I did not at all mind the speaking style. It was sometimes halting, but that seemed to me like the Professor was thinking about what he was saying, and it gave me time to listen carefully and digest. If you are seriously interested in understanding how archaeologists think and work, then I highly recommend this course. If you just want to "hit the high points" of ancient history then it is probably not for you.
Date published: 2017-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Canadian view of our ancestors Allowing for a somewhat hesitating delivery and dry voice, I have thoroughly enjoyed this informative review of how our early ancestors fared and why we know some of that by the stuff they left behind
Date published: 2017-07-13
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