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The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  181 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
In this book, Rudgley describes how the intrepid explorers of the Stone Age discovered all of the world's major land masses long before the so-called Age of Discovery. Stone Age man made precisely sized tools, and used proto-abacuses to count and measure. He performed medical operations including amputations and delicate cranial surgeries. Neanderthals not only domesticate ...more
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Free Press (first published September 17th 1998)
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I'll keep this short and concise, in contrast to this book which, although slimline, made for a surprisingly laborious slog of a read. Why was the book laborious? Well, although Rudgley presents plenty of interesting raw data about Stone Age evidence for technologies and inventions usually accredited to the rise of urban settlement (writing, art, ceramics, medicine etc.), he also frequently deviates from the main topic on lengthy tangents in which he pits the aforementioned evidence against a pe ...more
Barnaby Thieme
Jul 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I agree with nearly every review of this book that I've seen -- this admirable and much-needed overview of archaeological data pertaining to stone age culture is undermined on nearly every page by a thesis that is so misguided as to border on idiotic.

Rudgley's premise is that the academic world regards stone age hominids through a theoretical lens that holds them as "savage" and therefore incapable of generating culture in any meaningful sense. The development of civilization in Mesopotamia res
Simon Mcleish
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on my blog here in October 2000.

The standard picture of prehistory is of a series of revolutionary developments, separated by great stretches of time, culminating in the "Neolothic Revolution" and the appearance of agriculture, towns, writing, and civilisation. The purpose of this book is to argue that the process of development was far more gradual and evolutionary, with each of the new developments (other examples being art and medicine) being foreshadowed, in many cases f
Elizabeth Biehl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Parts of this book were very interesting, like the discussion of the evidence for Neolithic surgery. However, the author is annoyingly pedantic, and often times does not illustrate his arguments well. If someone is discussing a really interesting artifact that shows the ingenuity or early man, I would like to see sketches of the artifact, and nice references to the original papers.

While I generally agreed with Richard Rugley that people often underestimate the mental prowess of earlier humanity,
Ulrika Eriksson
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as we during the Renaissance learnt from the Greeks and Romans, Rudgley thinks we could look back, be inspired and learn from early more peaceful civilizations how to live in harmony with nature and each other.People before us were much more clever and industrious than we have given them credit for,it seems
The trend that this book shows - how we CONSTANTLY must put back in time the dates for our past history and our achievements – havent made the representatives for today’s truths a least b
Michael Brady
The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age is a fascinating examination of the period between the Upper Paleolithic Revolution and our earliest historical knowledge. Civilization did not arise fully formed like a Venus on the half shell. This wide-ranging but effectively concise book explains that our climb to modernity began many centuries before the Sumerians, Egyptians, and the Minoans began to create history. Written by Richard Rudgley in 1999, Lost Civilizations foreshadowed wonders yet to be ...more
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a generally good and useful book about prehistory, but should have concentrated more on actually purveying information and not academic one-upmanship. It divided its attention between being a historiographical study and being a text about the subject, most readers would have been better served by a clearer separation between these two parts. This division of style made it read more like a repurposed dissertation than a general study in some parts.
Jul 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book brings forth notions that suggest that Sumer and Egypt were NOT unique in their bringing forth of cultural elements that represent civilization, but that Europe had more going on that we typically think.
Albert Barlow
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book demonstrates that cultures have been advanced for a very long time. Lends credence to the argument that we are not the first technological society.
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
am learning a great deal.

enjoying the ride.

Vast quantities of information about prehistoric life and artifacts. Not overly technical, but not so simplified that it is useless.
Sean Murray
Disappointing. Far too speculative for what the cover claims it is
John Parks
More of a book to browse than to read
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