The receding of the ice in the last Pleistocene Ice Age, the resulting dessication, and the emigration of peoples into river valleys and other places where control of water required new forms of civilization are here seen as the chief causes of the origin of the seven primary societies-Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Indian, Cretan, Chinese, Middle American, and Andean. Professor Coulborn presents clearly and convincingly a number of significant conclusions concerning the formation of civilized societies as well as an abundantly documented and an analysis of the pertinent data drawn from archaeology, anthropology, and history. He shows how a new religion in each case gave the settlers the needed courage to survive the hazards of difficult physical environment, and he concludes that religious acts occupied a central place in the formation and initial development of all the primary societies.Originally published in 1959.The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.