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Built on Bones Audiobook

Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death

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Publisher's Summary

The city has killed most of your ancestors, and it's probably killing you, too - this book tells you why.

Imagine you are a hunter-gatherer some 12,000 years ago. You've got a choice - carry on foraging or plant a few seeds and move to one of those new-fangled settlements down the valley. What you won't know is that urban life is short and riddled with dozens of new diseases; your children will be shorter and sicklier than you are; they'll be plagued with gum disease and stand a decent chance of violent death at the point of a spear. Why would anyone choose this?

But choose they did. Why? This is one of the many intriguing questions tackled by Brenna Hassett in Built on Bones. Based on research on skeletal remains from around the world, this book explores the history of humanity's experiment with the metropolis and looks at why our ancestors chose city life and, by and large, have stuck to it. It explains the diseases, the deaths and the many other misadventures that we have unwittingly unleashed upon ourselves throughout the metropolitan past and, as the world becomes increasingly urbanised, what we can look forward to in the future.

Built on Bones offers accessible insight into a critical but relatively unheralded aspect of the human story: our recent evolution. It tells the story of shifts in human longevity, growth and health that have occurred as we transitioned from a mobile to a largely settled species. Beginning with the very earliest experiments in settling down, the narrative moves slowly forward in time, with each chapter discussing a new element of humanity's great urban experiment.

©2017 Brenna Hassett (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What Members Say

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4.0 (37 )
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    C. A. Mealing Brighton UK 08/05/2017
    C. A. Mealing Brighton UK 08/05/2017 Member Since 2014

    bantamgirl

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    "Fascinating!"

    This is a fascinating topic, described in a humorous and down to earth way whilst still having substance. If you can get past the slightly odd phrasing and occasional mispronunciation by the narrator, you will enjoy it.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vikki Marie Gaynor Wirral, UK 06/08/2017
    Vikki Marie Gaynor Wirral, UK 06/08/2017

    A lady with the Listening tastes of a person who has a Thirst for Knowledge, I am wanting to learn and Laugh,, Smile and Cry

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    "Technically spoke.. brilliantly ready"

    A great book .. with lots of facts and figures. however even with this dry subject it was made fun by the narrator
    a great book on history and how ppl lived

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer France 28/07/2017
    Amazon Customer France 28/07/2017 Member Since 2010

    livrée à elle-même

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A fascinating account"

    Beautifully read (for once the reader has researched the pronunciation of foreign words). But a scholarly work completely spoilt (for me) by irritating, weak, humourous asides throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • J.T.
    Texas
    02/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is a "light" book for many reasons"

    The author tries to be funny and sometimes she is. She is obviously young, smart and she will look back at her last chapter with a bit of regret I think. Her whine about the rich and poor is one that is almost silly. The rich inheriting investments but she does not recognize she is one of those making a living and not producing anything. Only a society of "rich" can afford to indulge her but she does not see she is one of the oppressors.

    She should learn life is not fair and she is proof.

    To paraphrase, this story is a "mile wide and a foot deep".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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