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Europe Between the Oceans


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About the Author

Barry Cunliffe is one of the most important and distinguished archaeologists in Europe. He is professor of archaeology at the University of Oxford and is the author of over fifteen books. He lives in Oxford, UK.


"When history is written in this way, conventional priorities are overthrown. . . . An admirable distillation of an enormous amount of evidence—full of what is beautiful, interesting and true."—James Fenton, The Sunday Times (London)

"Colorfully weaves history, geography archaeology and anthropology into a mesmerizing tapestry chronicling the development of Europe. . . . Richly told, Cunliffe's tale yields a wealth of insights into the earliest days of European civilization."—Publishers Weekly(starred review)

"Vibrant. . . . Europe Between the Oceans is eminently readable [and] synthesizes major themes in archaeology and history. . . . One of the most accessible discussions available."—Cheryl Ward, International Journal of Maritime History

"Nothing less than a masterwork, a gloriously sweeping survey of the early history of Europe drawn by a scholar and archaeologist at the very peak of his powers. . . . Magnificent. . . . Beautifully illustrated and simply written. . . . There are hundreds of examples of great erudition and innovative thinking in this wonderful book, but its chief pleasure is the sheer sweep of the thing, its confidence—born of a lifetime of study—its brio and its crystal-clear thinking."—Alistair Moffat, The Scotsman

"Barry Cunliffe’s latest book represents the synthesis of half a century studying the archaeology of Europe … He has established a pre-eminent reputation for mastery of a huge corpus of Europe-wide data, and an ability to construct panoramic overviews of past epochs. His latest book is his most ambitious so far. . ."—Current Archaeology, No. 229

"The scope of Professor Cunliffe’s new book is staggering . . . the text is liberally sprinkled with beautifully reproduced photographs and colour-coded maps – a wonderfully clear accompaniment . . . essential introductory reading . . . a wonderful overview. . . . Few scholars could seriously have attempted to write a work covering such a vast expanse of time and space, let alone have succeeded so admirably in condensing the great mass of information into a book that is such a manageable and rewarding read."—James Beresford, Minerva

"To somebody like myself, who enjoys big history (and prehistory), this supplies it with a vengeance. . . . The author is one of our greatest living archaeologists, writing at the height of his powers and with decades of accumulated knowledge brought into play. The result is a cascade of maps, illustrations and (above all) vivid, informed, assured prose."—History Today

"[An] impressive study. . . . It is a scholarly tale told in enjoyable prose and capably illustrated with excellent maps and relevant artefacts in colour."—Good Book Guide

Winner of the 2008 PROSE Award for Excellence in the World History & Biography/Autobiography category, sponsored by the Association of American Publishers

Top Seller in European History as compiled by YBP Library Services (2009)

"Cunliffe has written an extraordinary book, which is the culmination of a lifetime’s research and thinking about early European history. This is archaeology that truly is history, a definitive account of early Europe from its beginnings to medieval times that draws effortlessly on a myriad of sources. Archaeologists, general readers, and historians alike will delight in this historical tapestry."—Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of The Long Summer

"Cunliffe provides an enthralling history of Europe from end of the last ice age to the brink of global exploration, an extraordinary story told with unsurpassed knowledge and insight."—Steven Mithen, author of After the Ice: A Global Human History 20,000-5000 BC

"A fluent and authoritative overview from one of our best known and most respected archaeological writers highlighting the formative influence of contacts, coasts and rivers on the development of European societies from earliest times."—Chris Scarre, University of Durham, editor of The Human Past

"An astonishment: a transformation of prehistoric and early Europe from a minor outpost of the five continents into a restless and influential maritime member of an expanding world. Provocative but persuasive."—Aubrey Burl, author of A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany

"This is a truly remarkable book. . . . It is immensely readable and totally authoritative. . . . No one could read this book, one of its distinguished author's finest achievements, without pleasure and profit. Simply put, it is excellent: original, exciting and a delight to read."—Roger Collins, author of Visigoth Spain, 409-711 and Early Medieval Europe, 300-1000

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