The Mediterranean from 50,000 to 25,000 BP. Turning Points and New Directions

Marta Camps and Carolyn Szmidt (eds).

Hardback. 376p (Oxbow Books 2009). Publishers price € 96,00.

The passage between the periods which we call Middle and Upper Palaeolithic has long held a special fascination for Palaeolithic archaeologists, but over the past ten years or so it has gone right to the top of the list of 'hot' research topics. Underpinning it all is genuine and apparently enduring public interest in what actually happened at this point in human history. Why so much public interest? Well, it's us, isn't it? - bright, clever, intelligent modern humans replacing those tiresome and deeply flawed, if quite charming, Neanderthals. Modern behaviours, art, population explosion, economic revolution, all happening at once well, probably, or possibly well, maybe not. This book is a highly informative progress report on the state of current research concerning the passage from Middle to Upper Palaeolithic, focusing on the Mediterranean.

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