Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

World Prehistory and the Anthropocene

  • Joy McCorriston
  • Julie Field
  • ISBN-10: 050084318X
  • ISBN-13: 9780500843185
  • 0 Pages | Best Buy Package
  • COPYRIGHT: 2020 Published
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About the Product

A groundbreaking connection of current environmental change to the human past

How do we connect students today to our human world prehistory? This first edition covers essential topics of world prehistory through the lens of the Anthropocene. Each chapter focuses on how and why humans have transformed the Earth through time, linking prehistory to today’s global challenge of climate change. Supported by unmatched digital learning resources including an adaptive learning tool, InQuizitive, this book engages and inspires students to understand how we got here and how we can draw on the past to make better choices in the future.


  • Connects modern challenges with our long-term past using the theme of the Anthropocene The only book to teach World Prehistory through the lens of anthropogenic environmental change, this text covers every region expected in a world prehistory course—but with an environmental twist. In each chapter the authors answer how and why ancient humans transformed the Earth for their own benefit, with a focus on complex issues in human society including conspicuous consumption, agency, extractivism, and the diversity of outcome highlighting a fresh, relevant perspective. This unique approach, honed in the authors’ own classrooms, engages and inspires students by connecting world prehistory to today’s greatest global challenge, climate change.

  • Embraces the unique journeys of diverse societies By focusing on environmental impact, this book breaks out of the traditionally taught progression from hunter-gatherer to chiefdoms to states, which typically ignore regions and cultures that do not fit the pattern. Instead, the thematic structure of this book allows different places and societies to be seen side-by-side, rather than along the evolutionary line, emphasizing their distinctiveness and diversity.

  • Includes coverage of every region and time period typically taught in the course All the regions essential to a World Prehistory course such as the Near East, Americas, North and West Africa, the Pacific, and the East Asia are incorporated into thematic chapters so nothing is lost for a more engaging way of learning. Additionally, core concepts and theoretical anchors are still supported within the theme of the Anthropocene.

  • Student and teaching resources written by the authors and vetted by their students, make adoption easy At no additional cost, students who purchase a book will have access to an interactive ebook and the award-winning InQuizitive adaptive learning tool for World Prehistory. As experienced teachers in archaeology, authors Joy McCorriston and Julie Field also offer their exhaustive collection of sample lectures, possible course structures, worksheets, videos, and activities for students to help develop an engaging world prehistory course.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1:   Archaeology and the Anthropocene 
Chapter 2:   Discovering Diversity: Modern Human Origins Global Timeline: Human Origins and Migrations 
Chapter 3:   Technology Makes the Human: Stone, Metal, and Organic Material Culture 
Chapter 4:   Peopling the World: Human Dispersal to Australia, the Americas, and the Pacific Global Timeline: People 
Chapter 5:   Digging In: Responding to Climate Change 
Chapter 6:   Extinctions In the Past 
Chapter 7:   Understanding Human Decisions: Evolutionary and Social Theory 
Chapter 8:   Producing Food: Domestication and its Consequences in Southwest and East Asia Global Timeline: Domestication  
Chapter 9:   Individuals and Identity: Agency in History 
Chapter 10:  Feeding Cities: Urbanism and Agriculture 
Chapter 11:  Building Monuments, Building Society 
Chapter 12:  Conspicuous Consumption: Feasts, Burials, and Sacrifice 
Chapter 13:  Writing: A History of Access to Information 
Chapter 14:  Extractivism, Markets, and the Environment 
Chapter 15:  The Future of the Anthropocene