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The Origins of European Culture


A NEW book by Prof. V. Gordon Childe is always welcomed by students, and the volume under notice has special value as it carries the history of European cultures, as described in his “Dawn of European Civilization” (1925), to their origins in the ancient East, for the whole chronology of prehistoric Europe ultimately rests on synchronisms with the historical cultures of Babylonia and Egypt. The book begins with a reconstruction of the culture of the then thickly populated pleasant grass-lands of northern Africa and southern Asia of late palæolithic times. Firm ground is reached in the description of the culture recently found at Badaria, south of the Fayum. Culturally, the immigrant Badarians were a whole stage removed from the savagery of the Capsian hunters; they had mastered all the arts that are usually termed neolithic, and in addition they were acquainted with copper. The Badarians may have been autochthonous in the Nile valley or somewhat farther east; the modern Hadendoa appear to have relations with this ancient stock. They were the founders of Egyptian agriculture. Later, the first pre-dynastic culture arose in Upper Egypt from this basis and an infiltration of Getulian elements from the west.

The Most Ancient East: the Oriental Prelude to European Prehistory.

By Prof. V. Gordon Childe. Pp. xiv + 258 + 24 plates. (London: Kegan Paul and Co., Ltd., 1928.) 15s. net.

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H., A. The Origins of European Culture. Nature 123, 559–560 (1929).

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