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In this magnificent book, distinguished archaeologist Barry
Cunliffe reframes our entire conception of early European
history, from prehistory through the ancient world to the
medieval Viking period. Cunliffe views Europe not in terms of
states and shifting political land boundaries but as a
geographical niche particularly favored in facing many seas.
These seas, and Europe’s great transpeninsular rivers, ensured a
rich diversity of natural resources while also encouraging the
dynamic interaction of peoples across networks of communication
and exchange. The development of these early Europeans is rooted
in complex interplays, shifting balances, and geographic and
Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, and history, Cunliffe has
produced an interdisciplinary tour de force. His is a bold book
of exceptional scholarship, erudite and engaging, and it heralds
an entirely new understanding of Old Europe.