Pre-Historic Bibliography

50,000 to 5,000 BC

copyright 1997 by Historical Novelists Center

This is largely a collection of the low-tech skills your people will own. We are including articles on gathering wild food, since we don't know where or just when your story is happening. Do check to make sure the plant is not a late immigrant. A lot of wilderness survival information is handy in this period, because just about everywhere is wilderness.

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Aerospace Publishing, Inc.

Combat and Survival: What It Takes to Fight and Win YY
H.S. Stuttman, Inc., Westport, CN; 1991
Bizarre place to find the information -- a multi-volume series of skinny hardbacks on the modern military skills. But survivalists now recognize the usefulness of what archeologists have reconstructed, and terrain survival, water sources, and gathering are always possibly useful. Everything is "how-to" not vague theory mentioned in passage. Try using some of these and see how long it takes to put an edge on a shell, bone or piece of slate.

"The Search for Water: Stone Age Survival No. 1" pg 106-109
Includes a chart of the effects of dehydration! One complaint: they consider tannin to be a pollutant, but tannin is found in both black tea and in the swamp water or cypress water favored for long-distance sea voyages, as loaded from the lake in the middle of the Great Dismal Swamp. It tends to keep the water fresher.

"Purifying Water: Stone Age Survival No. 2" pg 110-113
Includes how to make bowls for boiling from bark or burn one out of wood, and boiling in a skin, which are all useful for crafting or cooking skills.

"Flint Tools for Survival: Stone Age Survival No. 3" pg.166-169
Use of slate as well as flint, sandstone for abrading techniques, flake and core tools, different hammers, pressure flaking.

"Alternatives to Stone: Stone Age Survival No. 4" pg.170-173
Bone, antler, and shell for fish "hooks" and needles, as well as knives, weapon heads, including the unsuitability of fresh bone for scraping techniques.

"Hunting with Spears: Stone Age Survival No. 5" pg 174-177
A variety of heads (including Mesolithic, Magdalenian, and wood), also the use of the spear-thrower or atlatl.

"Making Fire" pg. 226-233
Lots of excessively modern methods (flint and steel, gasoline) but a nice list of natural tinder, kindling and fuel; fire bows, saws, and thongs; laying fires, reflectors and windbreaks, Maori stoves, underground fire pits.

"Edible Plants" pg. 526-537
Gathering, recognizing, preparing; also some uses for the poisonous plants you do find.

"Arctic Survival" pg.586-597, 1486-1497
First half is largely geared to surviving the Soviet attack on Norway and making your way back to the British lines, but has some useful info, including a picture of frostbit fingers. The second is more survival-oriented, with arranging tents, survival in the tree line rather than out on open snow, and finding food.

"Trapping Animals for Food" pg 646-649
Snares, deadfalls, and how to skin a rabbit.

"Fishing for Food" pg. 650-653
Traps, set lines, and spears, as well as line fishing.

"Preserving Food in the Wild" pg. 654-657
Drying and smoking fish and meat, making pemmican, also the attraction of preserved food for critters.

"Desert Survival" pg. 766-777
Hazards, finding water, building shelter.

"Tracking" pg. 1006-1013
Includes such fine points as angle of light and tracking through low cover.

"Bows and Arrows" pg. 1186-1197
Making the expedient bow and arrows for short-term use, not as a family heirloom. Odds are, the prehistoric bow was more in this class.

"Seashore Food" pg. 1370-1373

"Wild Medicine" and "Useful Herbs" pg 1426-1433
Your prehistorics may know some of these fixes or stumble on them accidently. T2

Angier, Bradford

Skills for Taming the Wilds, a Handbook of Woodcraft Wisdom YY
Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PN, 1967
Hunter-trapper, old-fashioned, high-impact woodsmanship. Includes canoeing and pack animals, telling weather, etc. Very good. Too much today is Sierra Club, "pull out your ecologically safe heating unit," which doesn't tell how anyone before 1970 built cooking units out of saplings. T1

Bahn, Paul G.

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Prehistoric Art
Cambridge University Press, NY; 1997, but not quite out yet
Anyone used to the depth and breadth of these sort of books will pre-order at the bookstore, so as to prod the publisher. T1

Journey Through the Ice Age ****
University of California, Berkeley, 1997; photos by Jean Vertut; bibliography & index

Bradley, Richard

Rock Art and the Prehistory of Atlantic Europe: Signing the Land

Brennan, Martin

The Stones of Time: Calendars, Sundials and Stone Chambers of Ancient Ireland ***
orig. The Stars and the Stones, Thames & Hudson, NY, 1984; now Inner traditions, Rochester VT, 1994, with new epilogue; 216 pgs

Dillehay, T. D.

The Settlement of the Americas ****
Based on the newer chronology that recognizes pre-Clovis sites, notably Monte Verde in southern Chile, this moves back the timescale on the view of the earliest Americans. T2

Farnham, Albert Burton

Home Tanning and Leather Making Guide: A Book of Information for Those Who Wish to Tan and Make Leather, etc. YY
A. R. Harding, Columbus, OH, 1950
Dead practical and no-nonsense. Includes proper skinning, green-drying, working rawhide and smoking buckskin, bark-tanning, etc. T2

Hoffman, Michael A.

Egypt Before the Pharaohs ****
Barnes & Noble, 391 pgs
What was a chapter or two elsewhere (like Fairservis) is a whole book here, starting with the arrival of Paleolithic peoples, and showing how their cultural remains show them to be the creators of the recorded Pharaonic culture. T2

Howell, F. Clark

Early Man ***
Time-Life Books, NY; 1965, 1970; 200 pgs, index
Nice coverage of the development of early humanity, but as the title blazons, rather dated. From the early days of experimental archeology, so he explains how knowledge of surviving foraging societies helps figure out ancient remains (many build separate fires for heat and cooking, which affects estimates of numbers in a band), including a section on Bushmen. Very attractive reconstructive paintings, but check everything with deeper research as you go. In the back, includes cave art site list. Pictorial essay on modern flint knapping. T1

Ingraham, Holly

People's Names: A Cross-cultural Reference Guide to the Proper Use of Over 40,000 Personal and Familial Names in Over 100 Cultures *****!
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, NC; 1997; 613 pgs, index, select annotated bibliography
Yes, even here, this redoubtable book has aid for authors. The last section, Names Without Languages, tells you how to build the semblance of unknown languages for your prehistoric tribes to misunderstand each other in, while sounding coherently like different ethnic groups to the reader. Remarkable! The revised version due out in several years may include Indo-European roots. T2

Jacobson, Esther

The Deer Goddess of Ancient Siberia: A Study in the Ecology of Belief
E. J. Brill, Leiden, NY, 1993; 291 pgs, bibliography, index

Johanson, Donald & Leonora, & Blake Edgar

Ancestors: In Search of Human Origins ****
Yet another theory of why we started walking upright, with some of the very latest discoveries from australopithecines to early modern humans. Opines that Neanderthals were a parallel homonid not one of our ancestors. Good on illos. T1

Laubin, Reginald & Gladys

American Indian Archery *****!
University of Oklahoma Press, 1980
Excellent discussion of bow and arrow styles and materials by practicing bowyer willing to try any material in experiment. Sheds light on use of horn and sinew. T2

Lawson, Andrew J.

Cave Art ***
Shire, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, UK (but not for long!); 1991; 64 pg, bibliograph & index
Like most, especially so brief a work concentrates on the more notable examples of France and Spain. T1

Lister, Adrian, & Paul Bahn

Mammoths *****!
Everything you need to know about the development, range and habits of these hairy elephants from 2000,000 years ago until their extinction only 4,000 years ago. The Imperial mammoth dwarfed the biggest African elephants. Illustrations include frozen remains and lots of cave art and prehistoric carving. T2

Louber, Patricia

Painters of the Caves
National Geographic Society, Washington DC, 1998
We are waiting on this discussion in detail of the Chauvet caves discovered in France in 1994.

Marshack, Alexander

"Exploring the Mind of Ice Age Man" ****
National Geographic, vol. 147, no. 1, January 1975; pgs. 65-89
Excellent introduction to the thinking and possible mental technology of Cro-magnon. Includes a map of Ice-Age Europe with lowered sea level (dry Channel), and areas of tundra and glacier. T1

"An Ice Age Ancestor?" ***
National Geographic, vol. 174, no. 4, October 1988; pgs 478-481
Short report on a mammoth ivory realistic portrait from about 24,000 BC, including the evidence as to why it is genuine, and not modern. T3

The Roots of Civilization: The Cognitive Beginnings of Man's First Art, Symbol and Notation *****!
McGraw Hill, NY, 1971, and Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1972; 413 pgs; now from Moyer Bell, Mount Kisco, NY, 1991; 445 pgs, bibliography, index
Brilliant exploration of the meaning behind what was earlier dismissed as doodling. Also, a concentration on the smaller artifacts, like bone wands and woomeras/atlatls, rather than cave paintings. T1

Mason, Bernard S.

Woodcraft YY
A. S. Barnes & Co., NY, 1939; now from Dover Publications, NY
Indian Camp woodcraft, including how to organize evening activities and ceremonies, but the information on wood for structures and fires, how to construct a teepee, etc. are very good. T2

Mehringer, Peter J., Jr.

"Clovis Cache Found: Weapons of Ancient America" ****
National Geographic, vol. 174, no. 4, October 1988; pgs 500-503
Especially good photos show the points in the average human hand, giving a better idea of size than any ruler. Includes a map of Clovis sites for further research. T2

Morgan, Elaine

The Descent of Woman *****!
Stein & Day, NY, 1972; 258 pg, index, bibliography
An excellent counter-theory book, showing that human evolution was not the evolution of man, done for the benefit and comfort of the male of the species, but the evolution of woman, for the benefit of offspring. Especially takes on theories from *The Naked Ape.* Traces humanity from sea-side rather than plains development, as the reason for hairlessness, long head hair, "diving reflex," and so forth.

by the same author see the newer:

The Descent of the Child

The Scars of Evolution ****
Oxford University Press, London

NGS Cartographic Division

"Peopling the Earth" ***
National Geographic, vol. 174, no. 4, October 1988; pgs 436-437
A line and color map showing the diffusion of humanity from eastern Africa across the world, with the approximate dates BC for the evidence of occupation in each area. T1

O'Sullivan, Muiris

Megalithic Art in Ireland
Country House, Dublin, 1993; photos by John Scorry; 46 pg, bibliographic reference

Pfeiffer, John E.

The Emergence of Man ***
Harper & Row, NY, 1969; 477 pgs, index, bibliography
An older introductory text, such as you might find second-hand. Has an unusual chapter on experimental archeology, where the archeologist tries to reproduce ancient remains, or live according to theories, including the chest-crutch found to be necessary for producing a Folsom point, Neanderthal use of the bola. Also analogies with surviving foraging societies.

Poortvliet, Rien

Journey to the Ice Age: Mammoths and Other Animals of the Wild *****!
Abrams, NY
Magnificent reconstructions of Ice Age wildlife. A watercolor portfolio, like a set of snapshots from your friend's vacation to the Stone Age. T2

Putnam, John J.

"The Search for Modern Humans" ****
National Geographic, vol. 174, no. 4, October 1988; pgs 439-477
Good review of evidence, archeological methods and interpretations that contribute to reconstruction of ancient humanity. Includes a rare map of vegetation patterns in the Old World c.16,000 BC, so you can see where it doesn't match today, especially since there was so much ice and so little desert, and a good deal more land that is now underwater. T1

Reader's Digest

Everyday Life Through the Ages **
"Hunters Turn to Farming" pg. 12-19
Very brief account of the Neolithic Revolution (agriculture and settled farming villages). T1

Rigaud, Jean-Phillipe

"Art Treasures from the Ice Age" ***
National Geographic, vol. 174, no. 4, October 1988; pgs 482-499
Nice coverage, with a reconstruction and some smaller artifacts, as well as photos of the Hall of Bulls, etc. T1

Roux, Georges

Ancient Iraq ***
George Allen and Unwin, Ltd, London, 1964; Penguin Books, NY, 1966; new revised edition, 1995
Covers the Stone Ages as well as the prehistoric period of settled life in pages 49-74. T1

Schick, Kathy D., & Nicholas Toth

Making Silent Stones Speak ****
Simon & Schuster, NY
Very recent review of stone tools, from Africa to China, and how they both affected and illuminate the changes in human cultural development. T2

Smith, Noel W.

An Analysis of Ice Age Art: Its Psychology and Belief System ****
P. Lang, NY, 1992; 242 pgs, bibliographic reference & index
A bit heavy, but details possible shamanistic practices. T2

Wigginton, Eliot, editor

Foxfire series YY
Anchor Press/Doubleday, Garden City, NY

Foxfire 2 (1973): Spring Wild Plant Foods T2

Foxfire 3 (1975): Hide Tanning, Gourds, Ginseng, Summer and Fall Wild Plant Foods T2

Foxfire 4 (1977): Trapping, making pine pitch (the original glue) T2

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