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Rivers in Prehistory
edited by Andrea Vianello. vi+166 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 169 2015. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911782. Epublication ISBN 9781784911799.
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From antiquity onwards people have opted to live near rivers and major watercourses. Both freshwater and navigable routes provide the obvious reasons for settling near a river, but there are also many drawbacks, such as flooding. This volume explores rivers as facilitators of movement through landscapes, and it investigates the reasons for living near a river, as well as the role of the river in the human landscape. Ultimately, it focuses on the delicate relationship between humans and their environment, looking at the origins to help understand the present.

The symbolic and philosophical perceptions and understanding of rivers, the cultural and social behaviour associated with their presence, and the effort and engineering required to subdue and control their flowing waters are all deeply embedded in human cultures. Through an extended essay and ten case studies, this book introduces the reader to how rivers have been perceived as gateways to wilderness and the environment for humans across the world, and how they have affected behaviour and ideas throughout human history. Students and researchers of humanenvironment dynamics, and/or the colonisation of new lands, will find in this volume a network of bridges to facilitate the exploration of different research paths towards historical narratives of human cultures, through which rivers, and their environments, run.



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