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(1892-1957). Australian by birth, Childe spent most of his life in Britain, where he was successively Abercromby Professor of Archaeology at Edinburgh and first Professor of European Prehistory in the Institute of Archaeology at London University. For more than 30 years Childe dominated European prehistory. He was the chief proponent of the diffusionist view which interpreted all major developments in prehistoric Europe in terms of the spread of either people or ideas from the Near East. He developed this theme in great detail in a number of seminal works, among the most important of which were The Danube in Prehistory (1929) and The Dawn of European Civilization(1925, 7th ed. 1957). Although in European archaeology Childe is associated with the idea of diffusion, he also studied Near Eastern prehistory and in that context he studied developments occurring locally — what today is often called processual archaeology. In his books The Most Ancient Eost(1928) and its later edition New Light on the Most Ancient East (1934) he emphasized the importance of the change from hunting and gathering to farming as the basis of life, which he called the Neolithic or Foodproducing Revolution, and the later development of civilization, which he called the Second or Urban Revolution. Though the term ‘revolution’ is rarely used in these contexts today, these developments remain a major focus of study for scholars of the 1980s. In addition to a very large number of technical books and articles, Childe wrote many books about archaeology for the general public.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied