The Origin of Civilization : The Great Courses: Ancient History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Scott MacEachern
  • Series: The Great Courses: Ancient History
  • 24 hrs and 2 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

What defines a civilization? How did the first states emerge? How were the world's ancient states similar and different? Answer these and other dramatic questions with this grand 48-lecture course that reveals how human beings around the world transitioned from small farming communities to the impressive cultural and political systems that would alter the course of history.
Taking a gripping archaeological and historical approach to formative states such as the ancient Egyptians, the Chinese, and the Maya, Professor MacEachern completes your understanding of the history of civilization by exploring it at its earliest stages. Unlike traditional surveys of ancient civilizations, which tend to focus only on the glorious achievements of these cultures, you'll look at those first all-important steps that the world's first civilizations would take on the road to glory.
You'll investigate places such as Mesopotamia, where agriculture laid the foundation for groundbreaking experiments in social and political development in places like Uruk and Sumer; the eastern Mediterranean, where expanding maritime trade during the Bronze Age increasingly knit the different societies of these islands into a web of political and economic relationships; and Mesoamerica, where the indigenous states in and around what are now Mexico, Honduras, and Nicaragua reveal the full flowering of Olmec and Maya civilization.
You'll also take an engaging look at what archaeologists have learned from some of the world's oldest and most intriguing sites. In the end, these lectures will leave you awestruck at the diverse ways that ancient people crafted complex systems - systems whose broad strokes remain with us even today.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Really interesting overview of the origin of prehistoric civilisations and the archaeological methods and theories of the rise of states.
This was my first download of the great courses series and I'm looking forward to listening to many more. I was surprised how well the half hour lecture format suits the way I use the audible app.
Read full review

- missfrizzy

Could be better if shorter

As usual with all the long 48 lectures the lecturers are stretched to the limit to fill it out and they would be much more satisfactory at half the number so I more of less skipped the first 10 lectures. Otherwise its interesting but there are other courses with similar content
Read full review

- Kindle Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses