The Human Past


This book is not yet published, but will be available from August 2024.

ISBN: 9780500296318 Category:


Fifteen new contributors bring fresh perspectives to the fifth edition of The Human Past, the most authoritative introduction to world prehistory, revealing our shared human story with the latest scholarship.

Thoroughly updated by its team of authors, including 15 leading specialists new to this edition, this fifth edition introduces students to a more equitable and representative view of world prehistory. A total of 30 contributing authors – a truly international team of experts – introduce the enormous diversity of the human story as it occurred around the world, from the emergence of the first Homo species to human migrations, sedentism, domestication and agriculture, population growth and urban living, and the social systems and inequalities that were present across human groups of many sizes, from small societies to vast empires.

Twenty chronological chapters focus on individual regions, and new content appears in every chapter. The new authors bring first-hand scholarship and fresh perspectives, including: recent genetic (aDNA) research revealing the latest information about divergent migrations of early humans in Europe, in South America, and across Southeast Asia into China; more on the changes to Indigenous life in Australia post foreign contact; additional coverage of early female toolmakers and female hunters in the Americas; new features on the postcolonial re-evaluation of evidence in South Africa, including at Great Zimbabwe; and much more.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 21.6 x 27.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 29 August 2024
Number of pages 720
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Edited by Chris Scarre
Dimensions 21.6 x 27.7 cm
Weight 300 g


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Chris Scarre is Professor of Archaeology at Durham University, UK. He has also served as editor of the Cambridge Archaeological Journal and more recently of the leading archaeology journal Antiquity. There are 30 contributing authors to this new edition of The Human Past. All are based at prestigious institutions across the world, and a number of the contributors are originally from their specialist regions of study.