The First Traces of Human Civilisation Reading List

Reading list for this year’s non-fiction reading project: a contemporary exploration of the first traces of human civilisation, circa 10,000-5,000 BC.

  1. Meave Leakey with Samira Leakey. The Sediments of Time: My Lifelong Search for the Past. Mariner Books, 2020.
  2. Chris Gosden. Prehistory: A Very Short Introduction. OUP, 2018.
  3. Rens Bod. World of Patterns: A Global History of Knowledge. trans. Leston Buell. John Hopkins University Press, 2022.
  4. Thomas Higham. The World Before Us. Penguin (Viking), 2021.
  5. Louise Humphrey and Chris Stringer. Our Human Story. Natural History Museum, 2018.
  6. Kermit Pattinson. Fossil Men. Harper Collins (Wiliam Morrow), 2021.

If there any titles you’d care to add to my reading list I am open to suggestions of anything published in the last ten years.

4 thoughts on “The First Traces of Human Civilisation Reading List

    • Thanks. I find Bataille’s ‘Lascaux or the birth of art’ fascinating & Lewis-Williams’ ‘The Mind in the Cave’ is mentioned by Steve in these comments, which also looks compelling.

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  1. I haven’t read it but David Graeber and David Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything seems relevant. And perhaps you know of David Lewis-Williams’ The Mind in the Cave because I reference it in my post/chapter on cave paintings, and though published more than 10 years ago, it’s a hugely impressive book.

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    • I do recollect your reference to ‘The Mind of the Cave’ and being interested at the time. Thanks for the reminder. I’m aware of Graeber/Wengrow and should make the time for it as I’ve long intended.

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