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The Origins of Human Society

Peter Bogucki

ISBN: 978-1-577-18112-5 December 1999 Wiley-Blackwell 496 Pages



The Origins of Human Society traces the development of human culture from its origins over 2 million years ago to the emergence of literate civilization. In addition to a global coverage of prehistoric life, the book pays specific attention to the origins and dispersal of anatomically-modern humans, the development of symbolic expression, the transition from mobile foraging bands to sedentary households, early agriculture and its consequences, the emergence of social differentiation and hereditary ranking, and the prehistoric roots of ancient states and empires.
List of Figures and Tables.

Series Editor's Preface.


A Note on Dating.

1. The Gateway to Human Prehistory.

2. The Earliest Human Societies.

3. The Human Diaspora.

4. After the Ice Age.

5. Seeds for Civilization.

6. Pathways to Inequality.

7. Elites and Commoners.

8. Early States and Chiefdoms in the Shadow of States.



"Bogucki has succeeded admirably in his attempt to review the most up-to-date findings and interpretive issues in world prehistory ... This book will enlarge and modify our understanding of prehistory." Journal of World History <!--end-->

  • Presents a fresh look at broad trends in human prehistory.

  • Ranges across the globe using particular regions and periods as case studies.

  • Reveals to the non-specialist how archaeological data are assembled and interpreted to develop models of past society.