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Among the leading Egyptologists of his day, Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) excavated over fifty sites and trained a generation of archaeologists. This short yet well-illustrated work, first published in 1911, sketches humankind's achievements over 10,000 years, establishing patterns in the rise and fall of civilisations. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of ancient Egypt, and looking also at Greece, Rome and beyond, Petrie defines each civilisation as having a summer of growth and a winter of decline, revealing his controversial eugenic view that while migration can initially reinvigorate a society, the mixing of peoples over time leads ultimately to that society's deterioration. Correlating developments in the production of art and material culture in different places, Petrie argues that civilisation is not a continuous state, but intermittent and recurrent. Many of his other publications - for both Egyptologists and non-specialists - are also reissued in this series.