Christopher Prescott and Håkon Glørstad
Oxbow, £35

When did Europe become Europe? This ambitious question is posed by Christopher Prescott and Håkon Glørstad in their introduction to this new collection of papers searching for the origins of a distinctive ‘pan-European personhood’ in the 3rd millennium BC. A comprehensive and far-reaching anthology, it seeks to identify the cultural, social, and political developments that mark Europe’s transition from the Neolithic to the early Bronze Age. Big ideas are matched by the huge geographical scope of their compendium, from the Iberian Peninsula to the Arctic Circle. Of particular note are Einar Ostmo’s paper on Norway’s 4,000-year-old shipbuilding tradition – a fascinating insight into the prehistory of what in the Viking Age would become a definitively seafaring country – Marc Vander Linden’s skilful synopsis of population movement in the 3rd millennium BC, and Kristian Kristiansen’s impressively interdisciplinary synthesis of the latest evidence for the spread of Indo-European languages.


This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 52. Click here to subscribe

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