David Wengrow and the trouble with rewriting human history

Andrew Anthony in The Guardian:

Last year a book called The Dawn of Everything announced that most of what we think we know about human history is wrong. Its co-authors, David Graeber and David Wengrow, took aim at the established story that has been repeated by brand writers such as Jared Diamond, Yuval Noah Harari and Steven Pinker – the one that says that for most of prehistory, we lived in small egalitarian bands of hunter-gatherers, and it was only with the agricultural revolution about 12,000 years ago that we adopted larger forms of social organisation leading to complex, hierarchical communities. All of that, they argue, is based on outdated information.

In their bestselling books CollapseSapiens and The Better Angels of Our Nature, those authors drew heavily on archaeological and anthropological findings, although none of them are archaeologists or anthropologists. By contrast Graeber, who died two years ago, was thought by many to be one of the leading anthropologists of his generation. And co-author Wengrow is a well-respected archaeologist.

More here.