The refinement of radiocarbon dating using the information form tree-ring counts has raised serious doubts about the accepted theoretical frameowkr of European prehistory. Monuments in Central and Western Europe have proved to be considerably older than their supposed Near-Eastern forerunners, and the record must be almost completely rewritten in the light of these new dates. Before Civilsation is a preliminary attempt to do this with the help of analogies from more recent and well-documented primitive societies. The more glaring inconsistencies in the old theory are re-examined and Professor Renfrew shows convincingly how the baffling monuments of prehistoric Europe, like Stonehenge, could have been built without recourse to help from the 'more civilized' Near East.
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