Monday, January 07, 2008

Where it all started
It's rather touching when an immensely learned figure attempts to educate a dimwit, like picturing Mr Gladstone in a stiff collar reading an improving tale to a child seated on his august lap. Here, the dimwit is me, the immensely learned figure is the archaeologist Colin Renfrew - Professor Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn - and the subject for the lesson is prehistory, the story of our species up to the first written records.

Renfrew sets himself a daunting dual challenge: to give the general reader an account of how the concept of prehistory emerged and established itself as a branch of scientific archaeology; and to explore the question of how - in his words - 'did we come to be where we are now?' And all this in just over 200 modest-sized pages.

Book review. I haven't read it yet.