A groundbreaking new textbook that brings a highly topical, environmental perspective to the story of how humans have shaped the world
Since taking their first steps on this planet, humans have changed the environment around them. Anthropocene: A New Introduction to World Prehistory tells the comprehensive story of human prehistory through the lens of anthropogenic environmental change. Each chapter explains how and why ancient humans transformed the Earth, linking prehistory to today’s greatest global challenge.
As they explore this record of the world’s early people and societies, authors Joy McCorriston and Julie Field reject the traditional account of cultural evolution, instead presenting a thematic organization that highlights our Anthropocene narrative. Chapters are devoted to cities and agriculture, but also to such topics as technology, extinction, food production, writing and extractivism. Chapter 9, ‘Individuals and Identity,’ considers human identity and agency in more recent eras, and the book ends with a contemporary chapter that takes a hopeful look at the future.