'To qualify as human, a hominid has, so to say, to justify himself by works: the criteria are no longer biological so much as cultural'. In this 1977 book, Professor Grahame Clark goes on to trace the origins and development of human culture, in all its diversity, throughout the world. He follows the intellectual, material and social progress of mankind in each major region, from the earliest stone industries of two million years ago to the gradual and still incomplete attainment of literacy over the last five thousand years. He takes full account of peoples still preliterate when encountered in recent times by anthropologists as well as of those which nourished the great historic civilizations of mankind. Throughout he emphasizes the close relationship between environment and the character and speed of cultural development. The narrative is generously illustrated with photographs, drawings and maps, and there is a carefully selected list of references to the main sources used.