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Historical Archaeology

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 211–212 | Cite as

Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization

Brian Fagan, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2017. 368 pp., 39 figs., index. $30.00 cloth
  • Konrad A. Antczak
Book Review
  • 35 Downloads

Elegant and sweeping in scope, Brian Fagan’s Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization is a timely publication on an important yet often overlooked topic. From hominin to 21st-century Homo sapiens, Fagan details our age old dependence on seafood, the last and major remaining resource from the wild. As is revealed through dozens of case studies from throughout the world, humble fishing was indispensable to the development of social complexity, the rise of civilizations, and the eventual instauration of the modern world. Firmly anchored in current archaeological, ethnographic, historical, paleoanthropological, environmental, and ecological research, the book skillfully straddles the unusual literary border of a scientifically grounded work with serious public reading appeal.

Part 1 is dedicated to early subsistence fishing prior to the appearance of cities and the rise of civilizations. Fagan sets off the first chapter by illustrating how 1.75 million years ago our resourceful hominin...

Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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