Sunday, December 05, 2010

Book Review: What Makes Civilization?

Aardvarchaeology (Martin Rundkvist)

What Makes Civilization?
David Wengrow
Oxford University Press

Reviewing David Wengrow's What Makes Civilization? is made difficult by the discrepancy between its title and its contents. Out of about 240 pp in total, only ~180 are intended to be read, the rest being comprised of bibliography, index etc. And these pages do not offer meditation on the necessary conditions or definition of civilisation. Instead, a series of observations on the early state societies of the Middle East and Egypt fill the first 150 pp, and then the modern reception of these cultures is covered on 30 pp.

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