I've been reading an archaeology book all summer. It's one of those books you can stop and start. I found it reviewed in"Discover" magazine in 2005, thought it sounded interesting, so I cut out the review and held on to it. The library never seemed to have it so when I got a gift card to Barnes and Noble I decided it was time I just bought the book for myself.
"After the Ice, A Global Human History 20,000-5,000 BC" by Steven Mithen was a fascinating look at the development of humans on this Earth. The author uses a fictional character who travels to every continent and through time on each continent tracing the development of the hunter-gatherer and then farming societies. Each make believe visit is then backed with the archaeological record that gives us the insight into our ancestors lives. Archaeologists today have an incredible scientific arsenal to rely upon to learn about events and people who lived in prehistory; "... the use of science: that which allows us to identify cotton inside a corroded copper bead, reconstruct the pattern of prehistoric migrations from the genes of people alive today, specify ice age temperatures from beetle wings and - most especially - establish the order of events by the use of radiocarbon dating." (p.506) You learn about how grain crops and animals were domesticated and the similarities the bind us together as humans no matter where we call our ancestral home.
A fascinating read if you are interested in archaeology and history.