A Cultural Encyclopedia of Lost Cities and Civilizations

ABC-CLIO. Nov. 2022. 335p. ISBN 9781440873102. $97. REF
Cultural anthropologist Shally-Jensen (Alternative Healing in American History), historian Vivian, and contributors present this compelling and deeply informative work about the rise and fall of cultures from seven million BCE to the present. Climate change’s catastrophic consequences and colonization’s devastating impact dominate the narrative. Myriad examples abound of how economic and military strength didn’t guarantee a society’s survival without an appreciation of the environment, change adaptability, and inclusiveness of other cultures. There are 86 five-page entries on lost cities and civilizations, 10 investigative studies of localities that face extinction, 25 sidebars of folklore and literature’s lost mythical places, and maps, photos, and other images. Detailed descriptions of each lost culture include info about its inhabitants, history, culture, demise, recent discoveries, and current status, with cross-references and resources for further reading. The boxes outlining the environmental challenges facing cities such as Bangladesh, Jakarta, Manila, Sydney, and Venice are sobering, whereas sidebar stories on mythical locations such as Kitezh, Shambhala, and Xanadu add a fun twist. Intended for a general audience, this reference is equally useful for browsing or research.
VERDICT A stimulating volume for readers interested in lost cultures or climate change’s role in the past and present.
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