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Ancient North America

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Brian Fagan, one of the foremost living archaeological writers and an authority on world prehistory, has completely revised and updated his definitive synthesis of North America's ancient past. The book offers a balanced summary of every major culture area in North America, and places the continent in its wider context in human prehistory. Lavish illustrations, many new to ...more
Paperback, Fourth Edition, 568 pages
Published April 17th 2005 by Thames & Hudson (first published March 1st 1991)
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  173 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Bob Nichols
In short: Good maps, pictures. Focus is on hard evidence - projectiles and such. Super dry. Quite a bit on methodological approaches used in the presentation of the material. Seems to be wide-ranging interpretive theories, which struck me as being all over the map, with considerable liberties taken based on limited evidence (Fagan asserts, but then more than often qualifies, suggesting significant uncertainty).

Throughout the book, Fagan states that all hunter-gatherers were egalitarian, which he
Czarny Pies
This is a very enjoyable introduction to pre-Columbian North America for a laymen more accustomed to reading history books based on written rather than archaeological sources. During the nine years that have passed since I read this work, I have read half a dozen books on more narrow aspects of the Indian societies that existed prior to arrival of the Europeans and have always felt that this book provided an excellent context in which I could situate the findings of the works having a restricted ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Ugh. I don’t know why but I’ve never liked US history. Some, but mostly not. Thus I was not excited for this textbook in the first place. Reading it did not change my attitude. I did not enjoy this book. It was too dry and full of information I am not particularly interested in. This is my opinion. The book was very comprehensive, so if you would like to learn details on North American prehistoric cultures, this is a good informational book. There was once when I was reading the chapter on the M ...more
Joseph Carrabis
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Here is a book worth reading by anyone, period. Doesn't matter if you're an anthropologist, archeologist, historian, lay-reader looking for a good, exciting, entertaining and engaging read, you've found it. Fagan makes the ancient continent live again. Strongly recommended as a writer's resource if you're writing about this time period and place. It was one of the few science books that was so enlivening I couldn't put it down (says a lot about a writer when they can cause that level of interest ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: archeology
All you ever wanted to know about ancient North America and much more. In incredible detail, with pictures and drawings. I'm afraid I couldn't stick it out to the end, but I learned a lot anyway.
Dec 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthropology, natives
I read the 2nd edition, but it's probably almost the same. I still use this as a reference.
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
this was a textbook used for my north american prehistory class.
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Jun 09, 2008 added it
A region by region synopsis of the archaeology of North America.
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Brian Murray Fagan (born 1 August 1936) is a prolific author of popular archaeology books and a professor emeritus of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California, USA. Fagan was born in England where he received his childhood education at Rugby School. He attended Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he studied archaeology and anthropology (BA 1959, MA 1962, PhD 1965). ...more