New York Times-bestselling author Brian Fagan offers a vibrant history of how humans have transformed the seas into highways that connect distant cultures and shaped world civilisation.
Brian Fagan is emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Elixir, the Los Angeles Times bestseller Cro-Magnon, and the New York Times bestseller The Great Warming, and many other books, including Fish on Friday, The Long Summer and The Little Ice Age. He has decades of experience at sea.
A vivid picture of the nautical experiences endured by the first sailors who, in tiny canoes and rafts, made astonishing ocean-wide journeys more than 50,000 years ago and who laid the planet open to human conquest * Robin McKie, Observer * He is a beguiling writer and his lessons from global experience are both refreshing and sobering * Daily Express [on Elixir] * In addition to his solid research, he has unearthed a variety of entertainingly off-piste anecdotes ... These stories provide welcome glimpses of humanity in a narrative spanning centuries * Daily Telegraph [on Elixir] * Fagan is probably the world's most widely read archaeologist...fascinating...Once again, Brian Fagan has given us a gem of a book * Mail on Sunday [on Elixir] *
When and why did prehistoric people decide to venture out upon the world's oceans? What were their motivations for traveling across such large expanses in primitive vessels? In this enthralling work, Fagan (anthropology, emeritus, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans) attempts to answer these questions, examining seafaring traditions in a number of world regions. He begins with early voyaging in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, then covers a long span of prehistoric seafaring in the Mediterranean world, the Indian Ocean, northern Europe, and among Pacific coast Native Americans in North, Central, and South America. Fagan effectively intersperses observations from his own extensive sailing experience as he ponders how ancient mariners might have responded to various sea conditions and what may have initially caused them to take to the sea. VERDICT Fagan paints a thoroughly fascinating portrait of the intricate interaction among ocean, climate, and humanity in the many parts of the world where seafaring cultures developed. This excellent book is sure to appeal to readers with some background and interest in world archaeology and history. With extensive documentation in the end notes.-Elizabeth Salt, Otterbein Univ. Lib., Westerville, OH (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.