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.