This book, a guide and companion to the prehistoric archaeology of Greece, is designed for students, travelers, and all general readers interested in archaeology. Greece has perhaps the longest and richest archaeological record in Europe, and this book reviews what is known of Greece from the earliest inhabitants in the Stone Age to the end of the Bronze Age and the collapse of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations.
The book describes the prehistoric cultures of Greece in chronological order, and illustrates with 98 detailed drawings each culture’s typical artifacts, architecture, burial customs, and art. Written in an informal and accessible style free of scientific jargon, the book can be used in the classroom or as a guide for the traveler, or read simply for pleasure by anyone with a curiosity about the earliest ages of this fascinating region.
Although intended for a wide audience, the book has a solid scientific foundation. The authors are professional archaeologists with more than 25 years of experience in the field and with a first-hand knowledge of the methods and results of contemporary research. There is no other book today that covers the same range of periods and subjects, making it essential reading for anyone interested in the early civilizations that shaped the Greek landscape, laid the foundations for Classical Greek civilization, and contributed in many ways to the formation of the modern Greek world.
The authors have been careful to address the many questions concerning prehistoric Greece that have been asked them by students and visitors to Greece through the years. The illustrations were created especially for this book, showing familiar artifacts and sites from a new perspective, and selecting others for illustration that rarely, if ever, appear in popular publications.
About the authors
Curtis Runnels is Professor of Archaeology at Boston University. Among his recent books is Artifact and Assemblage: The Finds from a Regional Survey of the Southern Argolid, Greece (co-editor), (Stanford, 1995). Priscilla M. Murray is Programs Administrator of the Archaeological Institute of America and a Research Fellow at Boston University.
"Until now, there has been no guidebook in English that covers the entire sweep of the Stone Age, Minoan, and Mycenaean cultures of Greece. The authors have made significant contributions both to our understanding of the earliest period of occupation of the Greek peninsula and to our understanding of the relationship between humans and their landscape through time. The book is engaging throughout and eminently readable."
—Karl M. Petruso, University of Texas, Arlington
"Highly informative, pleasantly written and attractively designed and illustrated, Greece Before History provides helpful background for the discerning traveller, including a very good annotated bibliography."