Re: Transition from neolithic to copper/bronze age

Gerold Firl (
9 Dec 1996 20:41:43 GMT

In article <58bet6$>, Douglas Kihn) writes:
|> Jupiter! I'm searching for books/articles/info regarding that amazing
|> era when finally after 100,000 years in this physical form, we
|> accumulated enough surplus food to create the material conditions that
|> encouraged the development of greed, theft, war, classes, slavery, ie.
|> civilization. In Europe/Near East 4500-3500BC; Crete/India/China
|> 2000-1500BC; America perhaps widely scattered times and places and
|> degrees. The only two books I've found that really address this are:
|> "The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State" by
|> Friedrich Engels; "The Chalice and the Blade" by Riane Eisner (1987).
|> Does anyone know of any research that supports/refutes/explores this
|> area? Post to newsgroup or personal email is appreciated. Thanks.

If engels and eisler are your primary sources for researching the
key cultural transitions of human history, I would strongly suggest
you expand your bibliography. Here are a few suggestions:

_the emergance of society_, by pfeiffer. Looks at cultural transitions
towards greater social complexity in a wide variety of places and
times. Published in the 70's, but still contains valuable information.

_the masks of god_, joseph campbell. more than just a survey of human
religion and mythology, the 4 volumes examine all of human culture,
from hunter-gatherers to the late 20th century.

_cambridge encyclopedia of archaeology_; good surveys of archaeology

_penguin atlas(es) of world history_; short, inexpensive summaries of
world history. A good start, and a handy reference.

Note: _the chalice and the blade_ should be taken with more than a few
grains of salt, and while engels had some good insights, there's been
a lot of water under the bridge in the last century. Pfeiffer gives an
excellent summary of archaeological and anthropological research.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf