Thanks to unrivalled depth and breadth of exploration, Mediterranean archaeology is one of the world’s richest sources for the reconstruction of ancient societies. This book is the first to draw in equal measure on ideas and information from the European, western Asian and African flanks, as well as the islands at the Mediterraneans heart, to achieve a truly innovative focus on the varied trajectories and interactions that created this maritime world.
The Mediterranean combines unusual conditions in a unique fashion that goes a long way towards explaining its precocious development: it is the world’s largest inland sea, easily the largest of the five challenging, opportunity-rich ‘mediterraneoid’ environments on the planet, and adjacent to the riverine cores of two of the earliest civilizations, in Mesopotamia and Egypt. No wonder its societies proved exceptional.
Extensively illustrated and ranging across disciplines, subject matter and chronology from early humans and the origins of farming and metallurgy to the rise of civilizations – Egyptian, Levantine, Minoan, Mycenaean, Phoenician, Etruscan, early Greek and ultimately pan-Mediterranean – the book is a masterpiece of archaeological and historical writing.