This book was written by a large team of authors, each of whom wrote a particular chapter. I assume, therefore, that they have special expertise in that particular period or subject, and although this work may be a little too dry and scholarly for some, I found it provided excellent coverage and that it was still readable. The book benefits from recent research which the chapter authors discuss, and the illustrations are excellent, with the many pictures of artifacts, works of art, and grave excavations that I hadn't seen before in other works being probably the most striking thing about the book. Also, I would like to compliment the author of the excellent and very detailed discussion of copper and bronze metallurgy, where he discusses the advantages of two-piece castings of hand-axes in the later Bell-Beaker culture using arsenical copper, which aids both hardness and castability, which was very interesting. And in general, the dicussions of archaeological finds relating to improvements in cultural artifacts such as pottery making, metallurgy, weapons, and building techniques are one of the major strengths of the book. Overall, a worthwhile read although possibly a little too dry and technical for many people, and actually, I would give it 4.5 stars if I could.