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The Tale of the Axe: How the Neolithic Revolution Transformed Britain

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Approximately 12,000 years ago, early humans in western Asia and Europe who had been itinerant foragers, subsisting on what food they could find, slowly began settling in one place. They farmed and domesticated animals, created new tools, built monuments, and began preserving and storing food. What brought about this shift? What difference did it make to the overall popula ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Thames Hudson (first published August 15th 2016)
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Martin Empson
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Robert Sale
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Engaging and illuminating history of the rise of farming and the transformation of the British Isles between the Ice Age and the Bronze age.

At some point in the late 41st or early 42nd century BC a group of people arrived by sea and travelled up the river Medway in Kent. Sometime between 4065 BC and 3940 BC they built a house. Nothing like it had been seen before in the densely wooded British Isles. It was a European style longhouse and the people who lived in it for the next 300 years or so, bo
Caolan McMahon
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
How the farming revolution came to Britain. David Miles has managed to write a very engaging history, which includes the latest academic research without overwhelming the lay-person (me). I'm tempted to give this 5 stars, but it is in need of some editing. Several chapters didn't really flow smoothly into one another, and at points were too repetitive. With more editing the book could probably be 3/4 the size, cover the same ground, and still have space to describe the admirably few bits of jarg ...more
Mar 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ritual and More Ritual

Overall this book was excellent. The register of the language used was excellent. Aimed at the fairly informed lay reader it was comprehensible and informative without being simplistic My one personal gripe is that the author like many archaeologists, tends to was lyrical about imaginary religious rituals . A tiny fly in otherwise first class ointment.
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
The books improves significantly from the beginning to end. The beginning felt at times condescending and patronizing. The end, especially the last few chapters and the epilogue, on the other hand are fantastic. They have are fast paced and have a strong message. I'm looking forward to a follow up book with more of that! ...more
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Comprehensive study of neolithic Britain. i didn't finish it, it was far too dense for stupid old me. ...more
Doctor Black
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: hard-cover
Noahs ark domesticated animals take a ride a long for a 2 million year tyranny abroad a negative geography. This book should be used as a reference or daily meditation at best. Reading this along side "Girl wash your face" can cause a grown man to go insane.
The illustrations and photos are fun as well. An engraved stone in the Neolithic tomb at Gavr'Inis Morbihan, Brittany. Among the carved patterns are the distinctive shapes of jadeitite axes.
This book won't get the rumor mills swirling, but
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
From innovative expansions to bleak prospects.
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Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: birthday-2017
Excellent overview of the development of society from the mesolithic to the late Bronze Age, using the stone axe as a way to explore belief systems, culture, and trade/exchange routes from the Middle East to northern Europe. Engagingly written and up-to-date.
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Miles, David, 1947-
from Library of Congress website

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