Audrey's Reviews > Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans

Cro-Magnon by Brian M. Fagan
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's review
Dec 03, 2010

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bookshelves: history-continental-europe, nonfiction, science, prehistory
Read from November 19 to December 02, 2010

This is a clearly written, popular science account of the history of Cro-Magnons, also more properly known as anatomically modern humans. Fagan starts with the origins of Cro-Magnons from Africa, to how Cro-Magnons may have interacted with the Neandertals (probably mostly consisting of silent trading of goods), to how their stone technology changed, to the demise of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle with the rise of agriculture, around 8000 years ago. Fagan constantly studs the narrative with fictional vignettes of Cro-Magnon life to illustrate how the Cro-Magnons lived; how they utilized these (to us) cold, dead archeological objects (spear shafts, stone points, bone fragments, etc) which is nice. There's a lot of good pictures and diagrams. Fagan does not have the most exciting writing style but he does try. He has also stated that he does not believe anatomically modern humans to have interbred with Neandertals but there is recent evidence to the contrary. There's a really good bibliography provided if you want to find out more detailed information about what Fagan discusses in his book. A good book for someone interested in European prehistory who doesn't have a background in anthropology.

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Reading Progress

11/22/2010 page 43
14.0% "kind of tough getting into it. it feels a lot like... school. i suppose it's not surprising, as this guy does write college textbooks."
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