By David Keys

It used to be a disaster with no precedent in recorded historical past: for months on finish, beginning in A.D. 535, an odd, dusky haze robbed a lot of the earth of ordinary sun. plants failed in Asia and the center East as international climate styles substantially altered. Bubonic plague, exploding out of Africa, burnt up whole populations in Europe. Flood and drought introduced historic cultures to the edge of cave in. In an issue of a long time, the previous order died and a brand new world—essentially the fashionable international as we all know it today—began to emerge.

In this interesting, groundbreaking, completely obtainable booklet, archaeological journalist David Keys dramatically reconstructs the worldwide chain of revolutions that begun within the disaster of A.D. 535, then bargains a definitive rationalization of ways and why this cataclysm happened on that momentous day centuries ago.

The Roman Empire, the best strength in Europe and the center East for hundreds of years, misplaced part its territory within the century following the disaster. through the very same interval, the traditional southern chinese language country, weakened by way of monetary turmoil, succumbed to invaders from the north, and a unmarried unified China used to be born. in the meantime, as stressed tribes swept down from the important Asian steppes, a brand new faith referred to as Islam unfold during the center East. As Keys demonstrates with compelling originality and authoritative learn, those weren't remoted upheavals yet associated occasions bobbing up from an analogous reason and rippling world wide like an immense tidal wave.

Keys's narrative circles the globe as he identifies the eerie fallout from the months of darkness: unparalleled drought in principal the US, an odd yellow airborne dirt and dust drifting like snow over jap Asia, lengthy famine, and the hideous pandemic of the bubonic plague. With an exceptional command of old literatures and old files, Keys makes hitherto unrecognized connections among the "wasteland" that overspread the British nation-state and the autumn of the nice pyramid-building Teotihuacan civilization in Mexico, among a little-known "Jewish empire" in jap Europe and the increase of the japanese geographical region, among storms in France and pestilence in Ireland.

In the book's ultimate chapters, Keys delves into the secret on the middle of this worldwide disaster: Why did it occur? the reply, right away outstanding and definitive, holds chilling implications for our personal precarious geopolitical destiny. Wide-ranging in its scholarship, written with aptitude and keenness, full of unique insights, disaster is an excellent synthesis of heritage, technology, and cultural interpretation.

Show description

Read or Download Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of Modern Civilization PDF

Best archaeology books

Vikings in Ireland

This compilation of thirteen papers via students from eire, England and Denmark, think about the level and nature of Viking impression in eire. Created in shut organization with exhibitions held on the nationwide Musem of eire in 1998-99 and on the nationwide send Museum in Roskilde in 2001, the papers talk about elements of faith, artwork, literature and placenames, cities and society, drawing jointly techniques at the alternate of tradition and concepts in Viking Age eire and the level to which present identities have been maintained, misplaced or assimilated.

The Near East: Archaeology in the 'Cradle of Civilization' (Social Ethics and Policy Series)

The ebook is a piece incoherent, because it jumps round eras. however it offers loads of attention-grabbing aspect. It was once sturdy to profit one reliable characteristic on Neolithic residing, plenty of pistachios.

Ancient Iraq: Third Edition

Newly revised and containing info from fresh excavations and chanced on artifacts, old Iraq covers the political, cultural, and socio-economic background from Mesopotamia days of prehistory to the Christian period.

Additional resources for Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of Modern Civilization

Sample text

Unless we do more to educate the general public, particularly children, about the value and importance of multivocality, then it will remain either nearly impossible to gain legitimacy for views and approaches that are not mainstream, or pointless to put these interpretations forward since they will not carry authority for a public that is searching for univocal answers. It is no longer enough for Native people or any other disenfranchised group to simply have a place at the table when interpretation takes place.

L. Blakey continued to influence them even in captivity. We found the African and Caribbean connections important for understanding the site in many ways. We would require archaeologists, historians, and biologists with expertise and experience in research in all three areas. Similar to the value of multidisciplinary resources of the project, the diasporic scope of expertise allowed us to find meaningful evidence where narrower expertise could not have “seen” it. The use of quartz crystals as funerary objects required an African archaeological background whereas Americanist archaeologists might have assigned them no meaning (see Perry 1999); the heart-shaped symbol, believed to be of Akan origin and meaning (see Ansa 1995), was assumed to have a European, Christian meaning in the absence of anyone who could recognize an Akan adinkra symbol.

28 M. L. W. (1999). The contested commons: archaeologies of race, repression, and resistance in New York City. P. B. Potter, Jr. ), Historical Archaeologies of Capitalism (pp. 81–110). New York: Plenum. Forman, S. ). (1994). Diagnosing America: Anthropology and Public Engagement. Michigan: University of Michigan Press. , & Blakey, M. ). (1983). The Socio-Politics of Archaeology. Research Report No. 23. Amherst: University of Massachusetts, Department of Anthropology. J. (1981). The Mismeasure of Man.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.67 of 5 – based on 47 votes