Institute of Archaeology


The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity on New York Times Best Seller list

18 November 2021

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity co-authored by David Wengrow (UCL Institute of Archaeology) has debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Prof David Wengrow, UCL Institute of Archaeology (Image credit: Tom Jamieson)

David's new volume (co-authored with the late David Graeber), is published by Penguin.

The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow (Penguin, 2021)

An ambitious new world history, from egalitarian early cities in Mexico and Mesopotamia to part-time kings and queens in Ice Age Europe,the book brings together the latest scholarship and archaeological evidence to tell a new story about the last 30,000 years, fundamentally transforming our understanding of the human past. 

The volume overturns assumptions about the origins of inequality, showing how history contains many more hopeful moments than we’ve previously been led to believe and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organising society.

It has already been praised in media reviews (see selected links below) as it is 'upending' preconceptions about how societies develop.

According to David:

I’m thrilled at the news – it demonstrates that our fields of archaeology and anthropology can make a major contribution to debates over the future of our species, and our collective ability to reimagine the kinds of society we wish to live in.” 

David Wengrow, Professor of Comparative Archaeology at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, is the author of three books, including What Makes Civilization? and is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Distinguished Visitor Award for 2019 by the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He conducts archaeological fieldwork in various parts of Africa and the Middle East and is currently leading collaborative AHRC-funded research on radical death and early state formation.

Read more

Update: selected media links