The lost civilisations of the stone age: A journey back to our cultural origins

by Richard Rudgley

Hardcover, 1998



Call number

GN768 .R83


Century (1998), Edition: First Edition, 304 pages


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.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jcovington
Written pretty clearly in response to Graham Hancock's somewhat half-baked notions of pre-history. Unlike Graham's work, this is somewhat heavy handed, demeaning and unpleasant to read.
LibraryThing member john257hopper
The author mostly succeeds in establishing that the roots of human achievement in many cases go back much further than is often assumed into what is generally known as prehistory. However, he often oversimplifies the arguments made by other archaeologists and portrays them as having an utterly
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rigid conception of a 40000BP threshold for the formation of modern human consciousness, thereby setting up a crude dichotomy between two schools of thought. The tone is set by his introduction where he cites examples of appalling insensitivity by 19th century archaeologists in grave robbing (e.g. of Tasmanian aborigines) and seems to imply that many modern archaeologists are also like that. So, overall, a fascinating look at many prehistoric attainments, but should be read alongside other views, especially as relating to controversial areas such as early art objects or evidence of human occupation in the Americas or Australia.
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LibraryThing member wickenden
This book brings forth notions that suggest that Sumer and Egypt were NOT unique in their bringing forth of cultural elements that represent civilization, but that Europe had more going on that we typically think.


Original language


Original publication date



0712677585 / 9780712677585



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