The Making of the Middle Sea A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World

Cyprian Broodbank

An award-winning history of the Mediterranean from prehistory to the Classical world reissued with an extended new preface by the author.

For millennia, the Mediterranean has been one of the global cockpits of human endeavor. World- class interpretations exist of its classical and subsequent history, but there has been remarkably little holistic exploration of how its societies, culture, and economies first came into being, despite the fact that almost all the fundamental developments originated well before 500 BCE. The Making of the Middle Sea offers a full interpretive exploration into the rise of the Mediterranean world from its beginning, before the emergence of our own species, up to the threshold of classical times.

Extensively illustrated and ranging across disciplines, subject matter, and chronology, from early humans and the origins of farming and metallurgy to the rise of civilizations—Egyptian, Levantine, Hispanic, Minoan, Mycenaean, Phoenician, Etruscan, early Greek—the book is a masterpiece of archaeological and historical writing. Now featuring a new preface exploring the most recent archaeological research on the Mediterranean world.


Best since Braudel.

— Tyler Cowen The New York Times Magazine

Offers an invaluable and beautifully illustrated resource, incomparable in its scope, depth and originality.

— A. Bernard Knapp History Today

Cyprian Broodbank offers us a Mediterranean like nothing we have seen before.

— Daniel Lord Small, Harvard University


Cyprian Broodbank


Cyprian Broodbank is professor of archaeology and the director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. He was professor of Mediterranean archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London from 1993 to 2014. His previous book, An Island Archaeology of the Early Cyclades, won the James R. Wiseman award of the Archaeological Institute of America (for all fields of archaeology), and the Runciman Prize (for all fields of Hellenic Studies).