This book owes its existence to a need felt, we believe, by many people who are trying to teach European prehistory, for an elementary textbook suitable for students taking their first course in the subject with little or no previous experience in archeology. Several years of struggling with the literature in its present form finally convinced us that there was no alternative but to write it for ourselves. The primary evidence, where published at all, is notoriously scattered through a bewildering range of books, pamphlets and journals, written in almost every European language and in any case frequently unobtainable except in a few specialist libraries. For some areas and periods secondary works, sometimes excellent, exist, but their coverage if far from complete and they are mostly at too advanced a level for first-year students. Some general books exist, but none covers the chronological and geographical range that we thought desirable, with a proper concentration on the themes characteristic of modern archaeology at a level suitable for our intended readership.