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The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age

The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age

An authoritative, eye-opening look at Stone Age civilizations that explodes traditional portrayals of prehistory
The rise of historical civilization 5,000 years ago is often depicted as if those societies were somehow created out of nothing. However, recent discoveries of astonishing accomplishments from the Neolithic Age -- in art, technology, writing, math, science, religion, medicine and exploration -- demand a fundamental rethinking of humanity before the dawn of written history.
In this fascinating book, Richard Rudgley describes how
* The intrepid explorers of the Stone Age discovered all of the world's major land masses long before the so-called Age of Discovery
* Stone Age man performed medical operations, including amputations and delicate cranial surgeries
* Paleolithic cave artists of Western Europe used techniques that were forgotten until the Renaissance
* Prehistoric life expectancy was better than it is for contemporary third-world populations
Rudgley reminds us just how savage so-called civilized people can be, and demonstrates how the cultures that have been reviled as savage were truly civilized. The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age shows the great debt that contemporary society owes to its prehistoric predecessors. It is a rich introduction to a lost world that will redefine the meaning of civilization itself.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684862705 | 
  • January 2000
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Introduction

A near-universal theme in the mythologies of the world is that the present state of the world, and more specifically the social world, is in decline -- a fall from the Garden of Eden or from a Golden Age. Modern civilisation has turned these traditional mythological assumptions on their head and written a new script, one based on the idea of social progress and evolution. In this new mythology the notion of civilisation (as it is generally understood) replaces Eden and this novel paradise exists not at the beginning of time but, if not right now, then just around the corner. Civilisation is, in the plot of this new mythology,... see more

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