Kind of like the history of prehistory. It's amazing how much can be known, or at least intellegently guessed at, about peoples who lived more than 5000 years ago. The author covers prehistoric civilizations the world over. Most of this is nontechnical and easy to understand- maybe a little dry when Mithen explains about carbon dating, but that's about as hard as it gets. I particularly liked how he covers the known geographic changes that occured as the massive polar ice cap melted at the end of the last ice age... did you know a large area currently in the North Sea was solid land 20,000 years ago? I didn't. This book is filled with little revelations like that.